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High Notes for High School Music Students

Two accomplished student-musicians will be representing the school district at All-State and All-County competitions this fall after successful auditions last year.

Aidan McGlone, a senior soprano, has been selected as a member of the highly selective 2014 All-State Vocal Jazz Ensemble, which will perform at the NYSSMA Winter Conference in Rochester this December. McGlone was chosen from a large pool of candidates that auditioned last spring at NYSSMA solo and ensemble festivals throughout the state. She was chosen based upon her proficiency score and teacher recommendations.

Kristian Morgan, a junior tenor, was selected to represent Amityville as a member of the NYSCAME/Suffolk All-County Mixed Choir. Rehearsals and a performance from the select choir will take place in November. Morgan was one of many students who auditioned at NYSSMA solo and ensemble festivals held throughout Suffolk County last spring. The All-County festival will feature the county’s top 11th- and 12th-grade students. Morgan was chosen based on his proficiency score and teacher recommendations.

“I am extremely pleased for Aidan and Kristian,” said Fran Fernandez, Amityville’s fine arts director. “I congratulate them as well as their families and their past and present music teachers on this outstanding achievement.”

College-Minded Students Make Trek to Southern Campuses

For the eighth consecutive year, Amityville High School students, under the guidance of social worker Reynolds Hawkins, visited four historically black universities in an attempt to navigate the college application process.

During the week of Sept. 22, 32 students visited Virginia State University, Virginia Union University, Cheyney University and Lincoln University over a four-day period. The students were introduced to admissions counselors, went on guided tours and visited area museums in what was part college preparedness, part history lesson.

“[These visits] gave us a sense of what we’re coming out of in high school and what we’ll be going into,” said Kyle Hobson, who plans to study criminal law and minor in music production. “They also gave me a sense of what my culture has actually done for us and how we’ve developed as a people.”

Added Deja Hoover, who plans to study health and physical education, “When I get out of high school, there are going to be more opportunities than my ancestors had. Visiting these colleges allowed me to realize I can take advantage of these opportunities.”

Jenifer Morency, a physical therapy student who also plans to run track in college, learned how to narrow down her choices.

“I learned that there are colleges that aren’t for you,” she said. “When I visited Virginia State, I felt at home. I could picture myself there. When I visited other colleges, I didn’t get that same experience. So it was important for me to see what I didn’t want, because I won’t get to do these college years over again.”

Hawkins said the group that attended ranged from grades 10-12. The Historically Black University Tour program helps students discover a range of college options outside of New York in an environment where they would feel most comfortable and prepared for success.

School Community Plants Pinwheels for Peace

On Sept. 19, Amityville observed International Peace Day by joining in the global “Pinwheels for Peace” demonstration. District leaders, teachers, students and community members assembled on the front lawn of the high school to read poems, deliver messages of peace and entertain the crowd with songs and a puppet show. The event culminated with the traditional pinwheel planting, where students inserted pinwheels along a spray-painted template of a peace sign.

Over at Edmund W. Miles, students decorated the hallways and grounds with messages of peace and unity. The English classes of teachers Kathryn Dodd, Janine Katsigiogis, Kelly Wilson and John Katsigiogis all wrote symbolic peace poems on paper doves, pinwheels and the pavement outside of the school.  

Jennifer Dibble’s ninth-grade art classes contributed to a large peace sign with their artwork, while Paul Duguay’s and Michele Rudden’s classes added to the artwork with inspirational peace quotes in English and Spanish. The sign was affixed to the front fence of the building.

Pinwheels for Peace is an art installation project started in 2005 by two Florida art teachers as a way for students to express their feelings about what’s going on in the world and in their lives. Since its inception, it has grown to more than 4.5 million pinwheels across all seven continents.
Monday, October 20, 2014