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  • HHS Has Eight All-State Musicians

    The administration in the Hauppauge Public Schools has embraced a "growth mind set."  An environment has been established where every student has the opportunity to excel.  This educational program not only focuses on academic and athletic excellence, but on character development as well.

    Hauppauge administrators don't just preach service, they live it.  The Director of Fine and Performing Arts, Dr. Laura Landor, is such an administrator who shows her compassion with multiple visits to earthquake ravaged Haiti.

    Dr. Landor explains, "I travel to Carrefour, Haiti in order to volunteer at the True Love School, founded by a dear friend Patty Smith.  There are no public schools in Haiti so children must be able to afford a private school which is prohibitive for most due to the extreme poverty that exists.  The True Love School is free to children who show up daily and commit to learning and serving their community.  On previous trips, we took part in school activities, buying and preparing food for 150 children (for most this is the only meal they eat each day), giving out donated sneakers, visiting homes, and doing outreach in remote areas to encourage children to attend school.

    On this trip, my husband and I decided to bring a team of musicians from The Jazz Loft (our own not-for-profit organization) along with eight giant suitcases containing four clarinets, three saxophones, six trombones, four trumpets, one guitar, one bass, and a drum set.  In advance of our trip, we had also sent down two large shipping barrels filled with backpacks, shoes, canned goods, and school supplies which had all been donated.  We spent five days teaching students how to play these instruments and performing concerts nightly on a stage they had built especially for our visit.  In addition, we provided students and teachers a healthy lunch each day and gave out hundreds of pairs of shoes and sneakers to children who are in desperate need.

    What is next?  We are hoping to raise $500 to pay for a music teacher in Haiti to work at the school for the year.  We did some interviews before we left and if we can obtain the funds, we will proceed.  We also hope to bring this group of musicians back to Haiti with us next November to continue the outreach that we started.

    How can people help?  We are always collecting used sneakers and shoes (flats - not heels as the terrain is very steep and uneven), canned goods, backpacks, school supplies, and instruments.  Every little bit helps."

    With this kind of leadership, it is no wonder that Hauppauge High School has eight musicians who earned the distinction of All-State based on their NYSSMA performances.  Of these eight students, three HHS students were invited to will travel to Rochester, New York to perform with the All-State Chorus on the weekend of December 1, 2017.  The other five students are designated as alternates.  It is important to note that the only difference between an All-State performer and an alternate is the availability of a needed part in the make-up of the All-State ensemble.  

    The following students have been selected to represent Hauppauge at the 2017 NYSSMA Conference.  Selection to the NYSSMA All-State Honors Ensembles is a rigorous process with thousands of students auditioning for a chance to perform with the most talented high school musicians from across New York State.  

    Kate Tacca is a Junior who sings Soprano.  She is a member of the History Club, French Honor Society, and the National Honor Society.  Kate is not only an All-State singer, but also scored a perfect 100 in NYSSMA Level 6 playing the piano.

    Daniel George is a Junior who sings Tenor.  Dan just formed an A Capella group consisting of twelve members.  Fingers are crossed that they will debut in April at the Jazz concert.  He is active in theater in and out of the school.  This December, Dan plans on auditioning for the Spring Musical.  The Musical will be on March 16th and 17th, 2018.

    Patrick Caffrey is a Junior who sings Tenor.  He is a member of the Chamber Choir and the National Honor Society.  Patrick is also a member of the newly formed HHS A Capella group.  He is looking ahead to college where he plans to study Music Education.

    The five alternates are Chris Arcoleo - (Junior, Jazz Drums), Rene Kozlowski - (Junior, Soprano), Jillian Stern - (Senior, Flute), Evelyn Beltrani - (Senior, Soprano), and Emily Caminiti - (Junior, Soprano).

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