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GFMS’ Sean Pettis and Erin Stockdale: two of the best sax players in the statePhoto of students and staff

March 7, 2016 — GFMS student-musicians Sean Pettis and Erin Stockdale performed in a prestigious honor band this weekend in Central New York—with Sean earning the top award of first chair alto saxophone!

“There were just a hundred students selected state-wide for the Middle School Honors Band, and only four alto saxophones accepted,” said music teacher Jeremy Bouteiller. “Glens Falls took two of those four spots, which is huge!”

photo of students

Erin Stockdale and Sean Pettis warm up for their honor band concert March 5, 2016 in Liverpool, NY.

“When they first arrived, they performed a seating audition in which Sean was awarded first chair alto saxophone, a huge honor,” said Mr. Bouteiller.

Leaders from the statewide Band Directors Association “select the finest young musicians in our state and engage three outstanding conductors to direct and mentor them,” according to the association, as part of this NYSBDA symposium that took place in Liverpool March 4-5.

Students were selected based on their spring 2015 NYSSMA solo score and teacher recommendations. They rehearsed for about 12 hours over the course of the symposium, and also attended a leadership workshop.

“The concert program consisted of four highly difficult pieces, one of which was Jan Van der Roost's Puszta, a NYSSMA level 6 piece (the highest level) that is often performed by college and professional bands,” said Mr. Bouteiller. The honor band was conducted by Dr. Nola Jones, Coordinator of Visual and Performing Arts for Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools in Nashville, Tennessee.