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Bayside students perform in concert

Six aspiring musicians from a Bayside middle school were among the first-ever group from New York City to perform at the 5th Annual Hofstra University Middle School Honors Band Festival.
The 7th graders, from M.S. 158 the Marie Curie School on Oceania Street, were one of only two groups selected from New York City public schools to participate in the two-day event. The other is in Brooklyn.
The four girls and two boys joined with 364 other middle schoolers and 106 Hofstra University students at the David S. Mack Sports and Entertainment Complex on the school’s Hempstead, Long Island campus.
Over the course of two days, beginning on Thursday, October 18, the Hofstra Symphonic Band members acted as teachers and mentors to their younger counterparts. The mission of the Middle School Honors Band Festival at Hofstra is to inspire college-level musicians to teach and to encourage middle school students to continue their music education.
The Thursday rehearsal, from 6 until 9:15 p.m., under the baton of band composer and guest conductor Michael Story provided the mentors and middle schoolers a chance to get to know each other.
Sunday, October 19 a second rehearsal from 6:30 to 7:30 was followed by an 8 p.m. concert for family, teachers and friends, under festival director Peter Loel Boonshaft.
The afterglow of their first performance stayed with the youngsters. Clarinetist Yasmin Ahmed said, “On the way back, the music was still playing in my head - it was the best day ever.”
The exposure to university-level facilities was also impressive. Euphoniumist Annie Fan remarked that “We got to touch an instrument that most of us had never seen before,” speaking of the baritone saxophone.
A spokesperson for the Middle School praised the performers, saying “They performed music which had once seemed insurmountable to them,” adding, “The experience taught them that with passion and perseverance, greatness can be achieved.”
Cailan Rourke excitedly called his Hofstra performance “a once-in-a-lifetime experience.” He’s wrong.
The students are invited back to Hofstra for the December 8 winter concert of the Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble.

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