Three Westfield High School students will perform in the New Jersey State Solo and Ensemble Festival in April, an inaugural virtual event launched by Arts Ed NJ for the 2020/2021 school year to recognize student achievement in music education across the state.
Eleventh graders Conor Daly (trombone), Nate Oberstein (percussion), and Matthew Robinson (alto saxophone) advanced to the state festival after submitting video performances to a regional festival in February. Over 1,000 students participated in the regional festival, which was adjudicated by highly skilled judges. Each student performance received a ranking.
“Out of 30 total points, students who scored 28 points or higher advanced to the state finals,” says band director Christopher Vitale. “We are extremely proud of the accomplishments of Nate, Matt, and Conor. This has been a challenging year for musicians to stay motivated without public performances. These three students have gone above and beyond to push themselves to be better. They serve as an inspiration to all of us for how to navigate circumstances that may not be ideal."
Supervisor of K-12 Visual and Performing Arts Thomas Weber adds: "When we heard that New Jersey regional and all-state ensembles were cancelled this year, we began discussing if we could provide an alternative experience for our students. We are grateful to Festival Director Dennis Argul, who provided a music professional development session during an in-service day here in Westfield recently, and to Arts Ed NJ for providing an opportunity for students to be professionally adjudicated. Congratulations to our talented students and special thanks to our dedicated teachers for providing support and guidance to them during this most challenging year."