OBHS Student Musicians Earn NYS Honors
Pictured with Oyster Bay High School All- State alternate musicians Jillian Haguisan, with flute, and Erica Duke, with French horn, are Mr. Anthony Femino, K-12 Fine and Performing Arts Supervisor, left, and Mr. Matthew Sisia, Band Director.
Two Oyster Bay High School student- musicians were selected as alternate performers in the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) All-State Winter Conference in Rochester, NY, Dec. 5- 8, an honor that puts them near the highest echelon of student-musicians throughout the state.
During the NYSSMA All-State process, music educators, students and accompanists spend countless hours preparing for NYSSMA Level VI solos. Of the more than 6,500 students that audition, about 900 students are chosen to perform in the conference.
As alternates, Senior Erica Duke will play the French horn and junior Jillian Haguisan will play the flute if a seat with their instrument becomes available.
“We are extremely proud of these students,” said band teacher Mr. Matthew Sisia. “They both worked very hard and have overcome some obstacles, so this is a wonderful accomplishment and we hope they get the opportunity to perform. Having a junior selected for flute, a very competitive instrument is basically unheard of,” he added. “We congratulate them both on their achievement.”
Erica was accompanied by Oyster Bay High School’s Director of Choirs Dr. Meagan Dissinger on piano for her NYSSMA solo. Playing since the 4th grade, Erica has been named an All-County musician numerous times throughout her school career. She began playing with the high school wind ensemble and pit orchestra as a sophomore and had the opportunity to perform with the wind ensemble at Carnegie Hall in 2018. She also performs with the high school jazz ensemble.
“I love music and I really enjoy playing the French horn and practicing my NYSSMA pieces,” she said.
Jillian, who also began playing in 4th grade, loves the tone of the flute and its relaxing and soothing qualities. In 9th grade, she was in symphonic band then moved to wind ensemble in 10th grade. Outside of school, she is a member of the Oyster Bay-East Norwich Community Band and was recently accepted to the Long Island Flute Club (LIFC) Student Honors Flute Choir. She earned All-County music honors every year, except for one, starting in 5th grade, and played at Carnegie Hall with the symphonic band as a freshman. Jillian takes private flute lessons with Ms. Kathryn Prinz through the assistance of the Bullock Horizon Fund.
“Flute is very competitive, especially for juniors so if I get to perform I’ll be really proud of myself,” Jillian said.
“Having students selected for All-State honors, even as an alternate, is a great accomplishment and speaks to the commitment and dedication of these students as well as the quality of our music program and staff,” said Mr. Anthony Femino, K-12 Fine and Performing Arts Supervisor. “We wish them the best of luck with this opportunity.”