NYSSMA Awards All-State to Six Whitman Students

Seated left to right: Adrienne Cantave, Eliza Wong, and Margaret Nostrand. Standing left to right: Nicholas Pinelli, Principal Kathie Acker, Nicholas Magnus, and Kalif Jones.
Seated left to right: Adrienne Cantave, Eliza Wong, and Margaret Nostrand. Standing left to right: Nicholas Pinelli, Principal Kathie Acker, Nicholas Magnus, and Kalif Jones.

“We are proud of our Walt Whitman High School students who have been named all-state musicians by the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA),” said Superintendent Dave Bennardo in his weekly newsletter, emailed to the district’s growing list of parents and community members.

“This remarkable honor, reserved for only the finest performers in the state, places our students among an elite group of talented young musicians,” added Superintendent Bennardo.

The award honored Margaret Nostrand, a Whitman junior who plays the French horn in the Symphonic Band. “I’ve been preparing for this a really long time, so it’s an honor and an amazing opportunity,” said Maggie. Senior Eliza Wong, a co-captain of the Girls Tennis Team, was awarded for her exceptional talent playing the violin for the String Orchestra. “I really enjoy playing music, and it’s a real honor to be accepted into the All-State Band,” said Eliza. Women’s Chorus alto Adrienne Cantave was accepted into Mixed Chorus. “I’m very honored to be singing,” said the hard-working junior. “It’s what I love to do.” 

For junior Kalif Jones, his acceptance into the All-State Mixed Chorus as a tenor is something he has been working toward for many years. “Music has always been a dream for me,” said Kalif. “This is going to be a magical experience, and I’m honored and thankful to be a part of it.” 

Nicholas Magnus loves the opportunity that being accepted in Mixed Chorus as a bass singer provides. “I love taking every chance I can to be in a formal situation and sing, and All-State is one of the best opportunities I have had to date to do so.” Nicholas Pinelli, who was admitted to the All-State Symphony Orchestra, has been playing the violin since he was 4 years old. “Music has always been a big part of my life,” said Nicholas. “It’s really nice to finally make it to All-State.”  Nicholas, a senior, has not decided where he will attend college next fall, but he is set on studying music composition.

Our six emerging stars will now perform with their groups at the NYSSMA All-State Conference in Rochester from December 5 to 8. “Please join me in congratulating our award-winning musicians, as well as the dedicated directors—Mr. Deitz, Mr. Altinel, and Mr. Yolango—who nurture their talents. We also join in thanking the parents of all our musicians for supporting and promoting the arts in their homes.”