Looking to improve as musicians, students throughout the Massapequa School District are submitting videos for the New York State School Music Association’s 2021 virtual solo festival.
In a typical year, students perform live in front of judges and then receive a score. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, instrumental and vocal musicians now can create a video to upload, which will be viewed and critiqued by music educators from across New York.
At Unqua Elementary School, band teacher Christopher Marson has been helping students record their pieces, attaching a phone to a flexible stand, which clips right to the end of a chair. Each student performs music scales and a solo piece. Those videos are sent to NYSSMA along with registration information and a PDF of their selected music.
Fifth grader John D., who plays the trumpet, chose “March” by Bach as his song to perform. The solo festival is optional, and John said he wanted to participate to get valuable feedback and become a more skilled musician.
“I wanted to challenge myself,” he said, “and get better at playing the trumpet.”