Pine Bush students in elementary, middle and high school participate in NYSSMA Majors Festival

What an amazing morning for the Pine Bush Music Department! On Monday, May 15, for the first time ever, all three levels – elementary, middle and high school –  were represented at the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA)  Majors Festival.

A group of about 30 elementary age students, all wearing blue shirts, and three adults on the sides stand in front of a building and tree.


This is a special festival held for performing groups where ensembles choose songs from a special list curated by the NYSSMA organization. There are different levels of difficulty to choose from (1-6), depending on the age group of the performers. 



A large group of middle school students are on stage singing. There is a student playing piano off to the left and a woman directing.


After months of preparing extremely rigorous music,  Pakanasink 5th Grade Chorus, directed by Mary Sousa, Crispell 6th Grade Chorus, directed by Robin Evans, and the High School Select Choir and Seraphim Choir, directed by Nick Ruggeri, all traveled to Wallkill High School to participate in the event.  

A large group of high school students, all wearing black, stand in two rows.

A large group of high school students, all wearing black, stand in two rows.


A special shout out to teaching assistant Paul McMahill. He is Ms. Evans’ right-hand man with the 6th Grade Chorus and accompanied the group to the competition. He does so much with the group, even tying ties for the musicians!


A man on the left, wearing a shirt and tie, ties the tie of a middle school student, who is wearing a white shirt. Other students are around them.


Pakanasink received a gold medal rating , Crispell received a gold medal rating for demonstrating an outstanding level of technical and artistic skill, and both the high school Select Choir and Seraphim Choir received silver ratings for demonstrating an excellent level of technical and artistic skill.

As an extra surprise, former EJR principal, Bunny Reichle, was the person who handed us our award plaques!

Great job PB!

Pine Bush Central School District
State Route 302, Pine Bush, NY 12566
Phone: (845) 744-2031
Fax: (845) 744-6189
Brian Dunn
Superintendent of Schools
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