OBHS Student Earns 2nd All-State Music Honor
Pictured with Oyster Bay High School All-State alternate Jillian Haguisan are Mr. Anthony Femino, K-12 Fine and Performing Arts Supervisor, left, Mr. Matthew Sisia, Band Director, and private flute teacher Ms. Kathryn Prinz.
For the second consecutive year, Oyster Bay High School senior Jillian Haguisan was named a New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) All-State Alternate, a distinction that recognizes her as one of the best student-musicians throughout the state. Of the more than 6,500 students that audition during the NYSSMA process, about 900 students are chosen to perform at the conference.
“Being selected for All-State honors, even as an alternate, speaks to a student’s commitment and dedication to excellence” said Mr. Anthony Femino, K-12 Fine and Performing Arts Supervisor. “It is also a testament to the talents and skills of our music staff and the overall quality of our music program.”
Jillian, who plays the flute, one of the most competitive instruments, would have performed in the All-State winter conference in Rochester this December if one of the flutists were unable to play. However, due to safety concerns associated with the COVI-19 pandemic, NYSSMA’s music festivals for the 2020-21 academic school year have been canceled.
“While we cannot have the festival, we believe it is important to acknowledge the musical efforts of those students who applied by recognizing their acceptance into our prestigious ensembles,” Dr. David M. Brown, President of NYSSMA wrote in a letter posted on the NYSSMA website.
Surprised to receive the honor due to these circumstances, Jillian said, “I am glad that they are still trying to accommodate students who have worked hard for this.”
Jillian began playing the flute in 4th grade and fell in love with its tone 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 the Long Island Flute Club (LIFC) Student Honors Flute Choir. She was also recently selected for the Nassau-Suffolk Performing Arts Wind Symphony. 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 said that when she goes to college next year, she plans to continue playing the flute in some capacity.
“Jillian is tremendous,” said band director Mr. Matthew Sisia. “She has been a blast to teach for the past four years. She’s talented; she works hard. She’s the complete package.”
Jillian has been taking private flute lessons for the past six years with Ms. Kathryn Prinz through the assistance of the Bullock Horizon Fund. She presented Jillian with a bouquet of flowers and said, “This is well deserved. Jillian is a pleasure to work with as a flute student and is also a very special person. It has been a privilege to watch her bloom as a musician and as a person.”
Mr. Sisia added, “This is a big achievement for her and a testament to her hard work and the people around her who have helped support her through this. This was a big effort on everybody’s part for sure.”