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Chautauqua Lake to host All-County Festival and Concert Saturday

February 4, 2016
Westfield Republican

The Chautauqua Lake Central School Auditorium will be the site of the 2016 Chautauqua County Music Teachers Association-sponsored Winter All-County Festival and Concert. The concert will take place Feb. 6 at 5 p.m. This event features the county's best student musicians from the eighteen school districts located in Chautauqua County, in one of several music ensembles. Featured in this festival are the Elementary Band, Women's Chorus, Percussion Ensemble, Vocal Jazz Chorus, and All-County Jazz Ensemble.

The organization for this festival begins nearly ten months prior to the program. Each student is selected first by their school's music teacher. That list is pared down by the CCMTA chair people, who then select the students (in some cases by audition, teacher recommendation, or through a score received by playing a solo for a New York State-certified music adjudicator) who make the final roster for each group.

Other duties of each chairperson include finding the guest conductor to lead the group, compiling and disseminating music to each of the students selected for the ensemble, and organizing any rehearsals prior to the day of the festival. At long last, the chairperson's final act is to introduce the guest conductor. It then becomes the students' moment to shine, showcasing their hard work and talent to an enthusiastic audience of over 500.

The concert itself lasts under two hours, but the time and preparation that go into the festival far exceed that moment in time on stage. Students begin rehearsing their music with their teacher as soon as they receive it sometime in early December from their Chairperson. They may then be required to attend one or two additional rehearsals throughout the months of January and February.

On the day of the concert, these dedicated music students begin arriving at the school between 8 and 8:30 a.m., for a prompt 9 a.m. rehearsal start. The day continues with rehearsals, lunch, and a few small breaks in between, until 4:30 p.m. when the last students dress for the 5 p.m. concert start time. Tickets will be available at the door, $5 for adults and $3 for seniors and students. This festival is graciously sponsored in part by the Fund for the Region and the Reg and Betty Lenna Fund at the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation.

In addition to the Winter All-County Festival, CCMTA provides scholarships to area music students to aid the student in continuing music education; sponsors a Solo Evaluation Festival, where students prepare and play for a New York State-certified music adjudicator who in turn provides the student with valuable comments and tips on how to improve his or her musicianship; and hosts a Spring All-County Music Festival each year featuring the Elementary, Junior High, and Senior High Choruses, and the Junior and Senior High All-County Bands, held in the Amphitheater of the Chautauqua Institution on Saturday, June 6 at 7:30 p.m.

For more information, visit or contact your school district's music department. CCMTA can also be liked on Facebook:



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