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Student from WHS and South Jeff to perform at band directors’ concerts at weekend symposium

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A junior at Watertown High School and an eighth-grader in South Jefferson Central School District will travel to the Syracuse area this weekend to perform in honor concert bands.

The concerts are part of the New York State Band Directors Association’s spring symposium in Liverpool.

The junior, Margaret (Maggie) Valentine, is the daughter of William and Babette Valentine of Watertown. She plays the bass clarinet and will perform in the High School Honor Band. She was selected based on her perfect score at the New York State School Music Association solo festival last spring.

Eighth-grader Madelyn Wischerath is the daughter of Steven and Andrea Wischerath of Adams. Mrs. Wischerath is the Watertown High School band director. Madelyn will perform in the Middle School Honor Concert Band. She plays the French horn.

Both girls will join the top instrumental musicians from across the state for the three-day program on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Liverpool Holiday Inn, 441 Electronics Parkway, where they will rehearse and perform at the 33rd annual NYSBDA symposium.

The middle school concert is at 4 p.m. Saturday and the high school concert is at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday. Both are open to the public.

Madelyn is a member of the seventh- and eighth-grade band at South Jefferson Middle School, under the direction of Kassandra Staie. For the past three years, she was selected to play French horn for the Jefferson-Lewis Bi-County Band. She also is a member of the South Jefferson Odyssey of the Mind team and the school district’s swim and softball teams.

She also has performed with the Clayton Community Band and the Jefferson Lewis County Music Teachers Recital.

Miss Valentine is a member of the Watertown High School Wind Ensemble under the direction of Mrs. Wischerath. She is also a member of the girls varsity swim and softball teams, the Interact Club and the Northern New York Community Foundation Philanthropy Council.

The conductor for the NYSBDA High School Honor Band will be Scott P. LaVine, professor emeritus at SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music. As an adjunct instructor, he continues to conduct bands and teach courses in conducting, music technology, theory and percussion as needed.

Mr. LaVine is a member of the NYSSMA’s technology steering committee and is a founder and co-conductor of the Northern Symphonic Winds, a professional wind ensemble based in Potsdam.

Susan Creasap will conduct the Middle School Honor Concert Band. She is professor of music and associate director of bands at Morehead State University in Kentucky. She directs the university marching band, concert band and teaches courses in music education.

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