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New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA)

NYSSMA Piano Only Festival (Virtual)

Registration deadline: Friday, January 8

Please note that the NYSSMA Piano Festival will be held virtually. ALL student performances will have a one-week window to be uploaded: February 5-12. No student performances will be accepted after that date. Registration forms will request email addresses for the student, parent, and piano teacher. Further details and a link to the festival will be sent by email to all three addresses.

NYSSMA Solo Festival for ALL others (Virtual)

Registration deadline: Friday, March 19

Click here for a registration form

Please note that the NYSSMA Solo Festival will be held virtually. All student performances will have a one-week window to be uploaded: April 30-May 7. No student performances will be accepted after that date. Registration forms will request email addresses for the student and parent. Further details and a link to the festival will be sent by email and/or distributed at school.


What is 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 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.

Visit the NYSSMA website to learn more about the All-State process.

Major Organization Festivals are opportunities for music teachers to bring an exceptional ensemble (band, chorus, orchestra, or jazz ensemble) to perform for two specially trained adjudicators. Music must be selected from the NYSSMA Manual. The ensemble is given taped and written comments on their performance, and awarded a rating such as Gold, Silver, or Bronze.