Two New Bedford High School vocalists recently participated in the Spring 2021 Massachusetts Music Educators Association All-State Chorus. Aydan Sullo (bass) and Abdiel Martinez (tenor) attended a virtual master class with music-industry leaders on March 6. Dr. Jeffery Redding from the University of Central Florida led the chorus this year in a student performance of Joy by Hans Bridger Heruth at the Virtual All-State Concert to be released this spring.
Of the weekend event, NBHS Junior Aydan Sullo said, “given the pandemic, our music curriculum has changed tremendously and adapted to conform to our situation. All-State was not an exception. The brief Masterclass conducted by Dr. Redding presented insightful material that challenged me as a musician and student. Dr. Redding’s warm and inviting personality curated a welcoming atmosphere that saturated the tension of a Zoom call with over 200 participants. I was so fortunate to experience this event and continue to create music in challenging times. Virtual choirs are a new and confusing concept; however, I am so grateful to perform at all, especially when these choirs are being executed so well! It all feels incredible, and I can’t wait to return to a normal music-making environment.”
Fellow junior Abdiel Martinez stated, “I got in districts back in Pennsylvania and it was one of the best experiences of my life so far. I learned more about pitch, intonation and reading music notation. Being back in districts here in Massachusetts was amazing; I was able to see the conductors and the way they did things with the music. In All-State, I learned so, so much from Dr. Redding. His experiences and his battles with racism, it just inspired me so much and it gave me more knowledge into things as well as push me to try and be a performer as well.”
“We are so proud of these students and the challenges they have worked through this year,” said Lynn Souza, Director of Fine Arts for New Bedford Public Schools. “These students have demonstrated commitment to developing their voices and the teachers have done an amazing job engaging and supporting students in creative ways this year.”
The Massachusetts Music Educators Association (MMEA) is a state-wide 501(c)(3) non-profit organization of over 1500 members. A federated state chapter of the National Association for Music Education, MMEA seeks to support comprehensive, quality music education for all students, through advocacy, professional development, and a commitment to lifelong learning.