John Derbyshire is over at The Corner telling anyone who will listen that his kids did very, very well at the NYSSMA exams (New York State School Music Association).
It may sound like nothing, but in NY, a state that is very competitive musically, with so many talented kids, so many schools and a relatively small number of openings in statewide bands, orchestras and choruses (it’s a VERY big deal to be selected to participate in an “All State” group), when your kid does well at NYSSMA, it’s a happy day. NYSSMA judges are music educators with impeccable reputations, and they are not hand-holders. They’re there to give fair and just evaluations of your kid’s work, and the evaluations do land in their permanent records. So, if you have a kid who is seriously hoping to study music, like mine, it’s big. It’s very, very big.
Kids participate in NYSSMA at all age and skill levels, with Level 6 pieces being the most demanding.
Over the years, my elder son achieved outstanding scores in piano and guitar, and Buster has done excellently on the saxophone, and even better in his vocal efforts. Last year, he received a perfect score for his performance of Aaron Copeland’s “Ching-a-Ring Chaw,” a Level 4 piece.
Here comes the gush – you ready for it? This year Buster participated with two Level 6 pieces; one for saxophone and one for voice. He scored 93 out of 100 on the Saxophone (he always rushes the scales). And on voice, he performed Handel’s Si, tra i ceppi e le ritorte and recieved a perfect score of 100%!
Pretty thrilling, actually. The adjudicator had lovely remarks. If you’re not familiar with the piece, you can hear a snip of it, here. (It’s song #5).
Good for Derb’s kids! And good for Buster, and all the other kids in NY who work so hard to achieve excellence. It’s all good.