NYS School Music Association (NYSSMA)
The New York State School Music
Association is a professional organization which represents more than 6,000
music teachers across New York State. It is affiliated with NAfME: The
National Association for Music Education.
Each spring NYSSMA sponsors music festivals across the state, which local school districts volunteer to host.
At the Solo and Ensemble Festivals, students have the opportunity, alone or in a small group, to perform a piece of music that is selected from the NYSSMA Manual. The music is listed in six levels according to difficulty. Students play or sing before an adjudicator and are evaluated on their performance. A grade and written critique are given, based on established criteria such as tone, pitch and rhythmic accuracy, intonation, and sight-reading. The Solo and Ensemble Festival gives students the chance to practice the audition procedure, which musicians often go through. The feedback students receive from the judge will help them grow musically. In addition, students often use this NYSSMA rating for acceptance into performing groups outside school.
Major Organization Festivals are opportunities for music teachers to bring an exceptional ensembles (band, chorus, orchestra, or jazz ensemble) to perform for two specially trained adjudicators. Music must be selected from the NYSSMA Manual. The ensemble is awarded a rating for their performance and receive recorded and written comments critiquing their performance.
Each year thousands of student musicians across New York State compete for an opportunity to be selected for the prestigious NYSSMA Conference All State Music Ensembles. Admission to these highly selective groups is based upon the score received the previous spring during the NYSSMA Solo Evaluation Festival. Click here to go to the NYSSMA Web site to learn more about the All-State process.
Area All State
These outstanding ensembles consist of students chosen from a nine county area including Albany, Fulton, Hamilton, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren, and Washington counties. Competitive selection to these groups is based upon the score received by the students’ during the previous spring at the NYSSMA solo evaluation festival. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION
Solo and Ensemble Evaluation Festivals
A NYSSMA solo/ensemble festival is a performance venue that provides students with an opportunity to be assessed by a NYSSMA trained adjudicator gaining positive feedback and constructive criticism to help improve student performance.
We hope you will encourage your child to take advantage of this educational and rewarding experience.
Listed below are the evaluation festivals that Guilderland students may attend this year:
Piano Evaluation Festival - (Piano only) - March 2017, at College of St. Rose [DUE JANUARY 20, 2017]
• Additional information (PDF)
Solo and Small Ensembles Festival (No Jazz and No piano) - April 7 & 8, 2017, at Bethlehem Middle School [DUE February 10, 2017]
NYSSMA medals available for
Students who attended the NYSSMA Solo and Ensemble evaluation festival may purchase a bronze medal for $6.50. The medals are individually boxed with ribbons differentiating the level of performance. To order, complete and return the order form to your child's teacher with a check made payable to FMS by June 5, 2017. Download the order form (PDF)
Tips for NYSSMA Participants
To insure that everything runs smoothly, please plan to do the following:
• Arrive 45 minutes to 1 hour in advance
• Pick up your adjudication sheet at the registration desk and fill in the title of your piece, composer and the NYSSMA manual page. All other information will be printed on the label.
• Using your map, find and check in at your evaluation room to see if it is running on time.
• Go to the Gymnasium and WARM-UP. There will be two keyboards available in the warm-up room.
• Make sure you have original copies of the music for yourself and the adjudicator. NO PHOTOCOPIES ARE ALLOWED AT A NYSSMA FESTIVAL.
• Please keep the hallways quiet and be respectful of other student performers.
• Food and snacks are available for purchase in the cafeteria.
• Music vendors will have displays and be available for emergency repairs.
Enjoy your performance, and good luck!