Zone 12

Music Educator's Association of NYC

Music Educator’s Association of NY



2020 NYSSMA Zone 12 Spring Festivals


NYSSMA Zone 12 Festival Notes


Zone Representative

Greetings All!


We do have something to celebrate!!!

The Celia Cruz Bronx HS of Music Jazz Ensemble, directed by Penny Smetters-Jacono, is a finalist in the 25th Anniversary Essentially Ellington Virtual International Festival.

The link below will bring you to the JALC Essentially Ellington page.  Penny’s group will be performing on Friday June 12th during the 2pm concert. 

We are SO proud of Penny and her jazz kids – their group was the only one chosen from the ENTIRE north-east!!!!

Take some time to enjoy the festival!!


Welcome to the Zone 12 page!    There are TWO new areas you should be aware of:

**The NYS Arts Standards can be accessed here:

 **The  NEW NYSSMA Manual Edition 32, which went into effect on July 1, 2018 is the manual that is currently in use; a copy may be purchased through this website. (go to the homepage and click on “NYSSMA MANUAL” – upper right).  Please read the manual!!  There are new rules and regulations for some areas (particularly Jazz), clarifications, additions to repertoire.  Please contact Katie Struzik – – with ANY questions! 

There are three links above which will guide you through registration for Zone 12 Spring Festivals.  The “DaCapo” link is ONLY for those who are registering students for the festival at James Madison HS, May 9th, and Corona Arts and Sciences Academy, May 29th-30th.

Below are the Solo and Major Ensemble festival fees:

Solo Festival

Solo and Small Ensemble Level 1 – 4:    $16

Piano Solo Level 1 – 4:                               $22

Solo and Small Ensemble Level 5 – 6:   $24

Piano Solo Level 5 – 6:                               $30

All-State Solo:                                               $30

Major Organization Festival

Level 1 – 3:             $150

Level 4:                  $180

Level 5 – 6:             $225


Some further Zone 12 notes:

Please register students in the festival that is in your SCHOOL BOROUGH.  If you need to register for a different borough festival, please contact the zone representative –  If you have piano students, you may register those students for the June 4th Piano Festival at NYU. All Majors festival registration is done through the NYSSMA website, Please be aware of deadlines and adhere to them!!  The application deadline for all solo/small ensemble festivals is SIX WEEKS BEFORE the festival date.  The application deadline for all Majors festivals is March 1st, 2020. 

Our Manhattan festival is in MARCH 2020 – this is a change from last year.  The deadline for registering is in February.

Our Brooklyn festival is at a different location from last year.

 High School Teachers – If you are registering an All-State student, you must:

1 – fill out an All-State application on the NYSSMA website, and PLEASE use the student’s home address and phone number and include your personal phone number (in case of questions)

2 – print two copies of the application

3 – have both applications signed by the appropriate people

4 – mail the application to the festival host THREE WEEKS BEFORE the date of the festival.  If the festival host does not have the application on the date of the audition, the student will NOT BE ALLOWED TO AUDITION.

All vocal students MUST have an accompaniment, either digital or live.  The student should provide his/her own equipment if using a digital accompaniment.

All students must have one actual, real copy of the music.  NO PHOTO COPIES ARE ALLOWED.  If a student does not bring music, the adjudication will be done at the discretion of the zone representative and the adjudicator, and students will receive “Comments Only”.

When you register a student for a festival, you may request a date/time, HOWEVER, that does not mean you will get that date/time.

Any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me through my e-mail or phone listed below.

Have a great school year!

Maria Schwab
133 Avenue V
Brooklyn, NY 11223
cell 516-680-7934
home 347-312-5701


Presidents of Affiliated Counties

MEANYC (Music Educators of New York City)
Bronx, New York, Richmond, Kings, Queens

Patricia Peltz

372 Fifth Avenue, 5N

New York, NY 10018


And. . . .a few(!) words from Richard Klingensmith, Past Zone 12 Representative


The Student Musician:

Why should I play a solo at a NYSSMA Adjudication Festival?

*NYSSMA evaluations offer you an objective assessment of accomplishment by an unbiased, trained evaluator

*You will be evaluated on the difficulty level of your choice.  You will know

how well you have done on that level and be aware of levels yet to be explored.

*This is not a competition!  You are not competing against your classmates or other musicians, but rather playing against a recognized standard, so you will be able to use this to evaluate your own progress and plan your work with mire insight.

*When you have reached the highest level of achievement you may take the opportunity to audition (10th and 11th grade students) for an All-State performing group, where you will have the pleasure to rehearse and perform with the finest student musicians in New York State, as well as work under nationally recognized conductors.

The Teacher:

Why should my students play a solo at a NYSSMA Adjudication Festival?

Why should my major ensembles play at a NYSSMA Adjudication Festival?

*Thousands of student throughout the state participate in the NYSSMA Evaluation Festivals and are evaluated by trained adjudicators.

*The process documents achievement using a reliable and valid criteria through the use of outside evaluators.

*Students are motivated by a desire to improve their performance through constructive criticism rather than by competition with other students or a need to “win”.

*Having your students practice for a solo performance will have a positive effect on their musical accomplishments and therefore positive effects on the ensembles in which they perform.*Teachers of ensembles need valid and reliable evaluation of their best work if they are to continue to improve instruction and raise the quality of music learning and performance.

*Assessment helps you motivate and reinforce learning, raise the quality of instruction, improve planning and curriculum and reward hard work and success.

*Many music teachers throughout the state have o in-house help, no music chair or ongoing help from the district level.  Parent’s applause for little Johnny and Suzy at an evening performance while necessary and important, is not an evaluation which is useful to either the teacher, administration or Suzy or Johnny.

The Principal

Why should teachers and students in my school participate in NYSSMA Adjudication Festivals?

*The NYSSMA Evaluation Festival assessment process has been recognized by the NYSED as a model of authentic assessment.

*Descriptors are provided for each level of performance, and are valid and reliable.

*Scores are related to actual levels of student performance.  Ratings reflect both analytic and overall performance, and make explicit to students, parents and administrators the criteria for student achievement.

*A Realistic window is available for the administrator to view the successes and weakness of a program.

The Parent

Why should my child participate in a NYSSMA Adjudication Festival?

 *NYSSMA standards of adjudication are understood and recognized by college and university admissions officers.

*If your child’s application states, “I play first clarinet in my high school band which was last year awarded a Level 6 Gold Recognition at a NYSSMA Festival”, or, “I played a level 6 solo and received an A rating”, specific information about your child’s achievement and abilities are known.

*Success in music performance doesn’t only indicate that your child has talent.  It shows a willingness to spend a significant amount of time, energy and effort over a long period of time to reach a high level of performance.

*Success in musical performance is an indicator o good work habits, persistence and tenaciousness.

*Success as a performer has been characterized as 10 percent talent and 90 percent HARD WORK AND PRACTICE!  Achievement in musical performance demonstrates that the student knows how to work.

A NYSSMA rating validates musical achievement.  Admissions officers understand –

“The arts are clearly an integral part of life at Harvard.  We look for students whose previous participation in the arts shows that they can make a substantial contribution to our community.”  –  William F. Fitzsimmons, Dean of Admissions, Harvard University  



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