ELDRED – Kaitlyn McGarry, a senior flute player at Eldred High School, was chosen for the 2023 New York Zone 9 Area All-State Symphonic Band, which took place at Wallkill High School on Friday, …
ELDRED – Kaitlyn McGarry, a senior flute player at Eldred High School, was chosen for the 2023 New York Zone 9 Area All-State Symphonic Band, which took place at Wallkill High School on Friday, November 17 and Saturday, November 18.
Students from Ulster, Greene, Sullivan, Orange, and Rockland Counties are chosen according to their New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) Solo Evaluation score from the spring of 2023. Out of 83 students selected to play in the Symphonic Band this year, three Sullivan County students were chosen. Joining McGarry were Tri-Valley Central School District’s Noah Edwards and Connor Weyant.
Senior Connor Weyant plays the alto saxophone. Additionally, he tried out and was selected to perform “Vigils Keep,” one of the highlighted solos, at the Area All State show. In addition to being a senior, Noah Edwards plays the trumpet.
Despite receiving acceptances from several universities, neither of them has chosen one to attend. Connor intends to major in both education and history. It’s likely that he will continue to perform music for his own satisfaction. Noah intends to major in computer science and may pursue a minor or double major in music.
Additionally, Connor made history by being the first student from Tri-Valley to be chosen for All State Chorus twice in a row. Right now, he’s spending this weekend at the NYSSMA All State Conference.
Both achieved Gold ratings on the hardest degree of difficulty for instrumental solos (All State) last year, earning their spots in the Area All-State Band.
A history of playing
The daughter of John and Nadia McGarry of Highland Lake, Kaitlyn began learning to play the flute in her fifth-grade year. She emerged from the pandemic school closure in the ninth grade and that’s when she started to take her playing seriously. She performed at the NYSSMA Solo Evaluation Festival, performing Telemann’s Suite in A minor.
She was one of just two 10th graders, in a group predominately made up of 11th and 12th graders, chosen for the Sullivan All County Senior High Concert Band the following fall based on her solo performance.
She performed Mozart’s Flute Concerto in G Major the next year. She then went on to audition for the Monroe-Woodbury High School Hudson Valley Youth Honor Band program, where she was awarded a position in the top Wind Ensemble. The Hudson Valley Youth Chamber Orchestra then asked her to perform.
In addition, Kaitlyn received acceptance into the top Honor Band following a successful audition for the Marywood University Senior Wind Band Celebration. Later in February, she will be seeking to earn the top chair in the same Honor Band. The competition means facing off against numerous other flute musicians from the Northeast Pennsylvania area. She will perform several scales at quick tempos and throughout two to three octaves in addition to a brief audition etude.
In March, Kaitlyn will also play principal flute and sit in first chair for the Sullivan All County Senior High Concert Band.
In the spring of last year, Kaitlyn played Paul Hindemith’s Sonata for Flute in preparation for the Area All State Symphonic Band this year.
The concert at Zone 9 Area All State proved very successful. Four groups performed: the Symphonic Band, the Symphony Orchestra, the Mixed Chorus, and the Treble Chorus. Once more, Kaitlyn was chosen to perform in the Symphonic Band as one of just three Sullivan County musicians. Tri-Valley Central School District was home to two more students.
The pieces of music that were chosen were Sailing with Whales by Rossano Galante, Rain by Brian Balmages, and Vigil’s Keep by Julie Giroux. Although the program was quite modern and difficult, the group put a lot of effort into rehearsals on Friday night and Saturday morning and gave their all to perform.
Kaitlyn noted she feels proud to go on with her flute practicing in college. She is currently completing her college applications.
“She is sure to make outstanding contributions to a college or university wind ensemble, symphonic band, and/or symphony orchestra,” said Brian Nivison, a teacher at Eldred.
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