Kyle Seniw didn’t always know he wanted to sing.
At the age of seven, he took up piano with Susan Guba, a permanent substitute at Loudonville Elementary and a local piano teacher. Then, when it came time to sample other musical instruments in the third grade, he gravitated toward the cello and really enjoyed it.
Then came chorus in fifth grade.
“I didn’t know if I was going to like it,” the 17-year-old Shaker High School senior said recently. “I really enjoyed playing the piano and cello primarily, and I definitely wanted to stick with them. But I figured chorus was more music, and I love music.”
Seven years later, Kyle’s love for music and his hard work in many of North Colonie’s choral groups have earned him a place in the National Association for Music Education’s All-National Chorus. The chorus, along with the other all-national ensembles, performed at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tenn. on Wednesday, Oct. 29.
“I think it’s such a tremendous honor,” Kyle said.
Some of Kyle’s performances during the concert included the American traditional folk song “Shenandoah” and the Italian aria “Ave Maria,” a piece Kyle was particularly excited about. Although he listens to everything from Beyonce to Mozart to classical Russian music, “Italian arias are my favorite to sing,” said Kyle.
He said the support he’s received from his family and within the school has been integral in his success.
“We have a lot of support here in school,” Kyle said. “Mrs. Amedio (chorus and vocal lesson instructor at the high school) has been great. Even my classmates have been great. Since I was selected to the All-National Chorus, other students have congratulated me in the hallways. It’s been incredible.”
“I’m very proud of Kyle and the staff in our music department,” said Superintendent D. Joseph Corr. “Kyle’s worked hard for this well-deserved honor and he’s had tremendous support throughout his time in North Colonie Central Schools. Congratulations to all.”
“This is the second student in two years to be chosen from North Colonie for an all-national ensemble,” said District Music Supervisor Deborah Keough. “It’s an honor not just for Kyle but for the whole district music department, and recognizes the breadth and depth of the program across the district.”
After the Grand Ole Opry, Kyle has his sights set on some more local milestones.
“I’d like to do (the New York State School Music Association) Area All-State conference this year,” he said. “And I’d love to do Melodies of Christmas at Proctor’s Theatre with the Empire State Youth Orchestra and Youth Chorale. Everyone says it’s fun and you get to be on TV!”
Kyle also recently performed for the North Colonie Board of Education on November 25.