CCMTA Spring All-County Concert To Be Held On Saturday June 3

Chautauqua, NY– The annual Chautauqua County Music Teachers’ Association Spring All-County Concert will be held at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 3, in the Chautauqua Institution Amphitheater.

Featured are the Elementary, Junior, and Senior All-County Choruses, and the Junior and Senior All-County Bands. The concert culminates in a combined finale of all junior and senior groups. All tickets are $5. Presale tickets are available online at ccmta.ticketleap.com and will also be available at the door one half hour prior to the concert.

Each student is selected first by their school’s music teacher and from there the list is pared down by the CCMTA chairs, who select the students (in some cases by audition, teacher recommendation, or through a score received by playing a solo for a state-certified music adjudicator) who will make the final roster for each group.

Opening the concert will be the Elementary Chorus (co-chairs Marjorie Bohn, Brocton, and Kimberly Levan, Dunkirk) conducted by Rachael Sanguinetti-Hayes of Rochester. Originally hailing from Vermont, she earned her bachelor’s degree at the Eastman School of Music in 2015 where she majored in music education and minored in social psychology. Sanguinetti-Hayes has been a full-time faculty member at Allendale Columbia School in Pittsford for five years. There she teaches chorus for fourth through eighth grades, general music for sixth through eighth grades, voice lessons, and music electives including ukulele, songwriting, voice class, and rock band. She has been invited to present at multiple conferences across the US, has completed research studies on the subject, and maintains an active performance career as a soprano, performing across the northeast in numerous productions and as a soloist. The Elementary Chorus will be accompanied by Cindy Ripley (Hamburg, retired).

Performing after the Elementary Chorus will be the Junior Chorus (Co-Chairs Christopher Wakefield, Clymer, and Rachel Offenbach Smith, Brocton). The ensemble is comprised of close to 200 seventh-, eighth- and ninth-graders. The guest conductor will be Daniel Jackson, a PhD student in choral music education at Temple University. Other ensembles under his direction have performed at the Virginia Music Educators Conference, Carnegie Hall and were selected to perform at the 2020 Music For All National Music Festival. During the summer of 2020, Jackson accepted the opportunity to serve as a member of Music For All’s Envoy Committee, an organization that helps to provide tools and resources for music educators. He also created the Diversity Coalition for the VA-ACDA Chapter, a committee that serves as a resource for providing a culturally responsive and diverse curriculum for vocal/choral music. Jackson received his bachelor’s and master’s degree in music education from Florida State University and is an active member of NAFME and ACDAb. Daland Perry (Clymer) will accompany the Junior Chorus.

The Junior Band (Chairperson Marc Lentsch, Jamestown) will follow the chorus. The band will be conducted by Heidi le Sarver, an associate professor of music at the University of Delaware, where she has been on the faculty of the Department of Music since 1995. Sarver is director of the 300-member Fightin’ Blue Hen Marching Band, co-conductor of the Symphonic Band and instructor of the Marching Band Techniques course. She is also the supervisor for student teachers pursuing an undergraduate degree in music education, Sarver attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst where she received a Bachelor of Music Education and a Master of Music in trumpet performance. She is also an adjudicator and production assistant for the Sugar and Orange bowls through Heritage Festivals and Bowl Games of America. In 2005, Sarver was the assistant director for the Bands of America Honor Band’s inaugural performance in the Tournament of Roses Parade and again for their second appearance in 2009. She is an avid show designer and has written for many high schools in New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Arizona, as well as being the primary show designer for the University of Massachusetts Minuteman Marching Band, recipient of the Louis C, Sudler Trophy in 1998.

After the Junior Band performance, the Senior Chorus (Chairperson Mary Kay Himes, Pine Valley) will entertain the audience. Conductor Dr. Adam Potter will be leading this group. Potter is Director of Choral Activities and Associate Professor of Music at Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, New York. At RWC, he conducts The Roberts Chorale and two other curricular choral ensembles, administers the college choral program, mentors choral music education majors, and teaches coursework in conducting, vocal music methods, and music education. He earned a Ph.D. in choral conducting and music education from the Florida State University College of Music. His choral music mentors include Judy Bowers, Kevin Fenton, Brandon Johnson, and Andre Thomas. He maintains memberships in the National Association for Music Education and the New York State School Music Association. He is also a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society and Pi Kappa Lambda, the American honor society for musicians. Accompanying the Senior Chorus will be Charles Johnson (Jamestown).

Rounding out the evening of music will be the Senior Band (Chairperson Carrie Pawelski, Jamestown), under the baton of Dr. Eric Melley. Melley is the Director of Instrumental Activities at Providence College, where he directs the Symphonic Winds and Jazz Ensemble, teaches courses in music education and jazz history, and oversees all administrative aspects of the instrumental music program. Melley holds music degrees from the University of Massachusetts and Louisiana State University and received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Conducting from Arizona State University. Melley’s career has included experiences conducting and teaching wind bands at every level, from beginning bands through secondary, and post-secondary ensembles, as well as adult professional, community, and military bands. He has directed performances and given lectures and masterclasses throughout North America and Europe. Melley has professional affiliations with the College Band Directors National Association, National Association for Music Education, and the National Band Association and remains active as a freelance trumpet performer. Melley has received honorary induction into Pi Kappa Lambda and Kappa Kappa Psi and resides in Rhode Island with his wife, Dina, and their son, William.

Since the 1960s, the concert’s finale has been Wilhousky’s arrangement of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” performed by a combination of the Junior and Senior bands and choruses. This year the finale will be directed by guest conductor Norm Lydell (Jamestown, retired). Lydell served the Jamestown Public Schools from 1986 to 2020 as an elementary/middle school general music teacher; elementary/middle/high school string instructor and orchestra director; Chairman of the Music Department, Director of Fine and Performing Arts, and Director of Vocal Activities at Jamestown High School. His extracurricular activities included jazz ensemble, Madrigal Singers, pit orchestra director, and brass instructor for the marching band. He has been honored with the JHS A Cappella Choir VIP Award, the JHS Band Hall of Fame Award, and now serves as Director Emeritus of the JHS A Cappella Choir. Highlights during his tenure as director of the high school choir included performances at Arlington National Cemetery, Capitol Building, Kennedy Center, and the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., as well as Fort McHenry and the Candlelight Processional at Walt Disney World. Lydell is a graduate of Jamestown High School. He has earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the Fredonia School of Music where he studied with tubist C. Rudolph Emilson, a Masters in Tuba Performance from Indiana University where he studied with Harvey Phillips and Ray Cramer, and a School Administrator/Supervisor Certificate from Buffalo State University. Mr. Lydell currently assists with the music ministry at First Covenant Church of Jamestown and studies piano with Andrew Schmidt. He remains an avid supporter of music in and around the Jamestown community.

The concert itself lasts under two hours. Students began rehearsing their music as soon as they received it from their chairperson, sometime in early spring. On the day of the concert, the student musicians will begin arriving on the grounds between 8 and 8:30 a.m. for a prompt 9 a.m. rehearsal start. The day continues with more rehearsals, lunch, and a few small breaks in between, until the students have dinner and dress for the concert.

Sponsors include the Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation with partial funding through its Community Grant Program as well as the Inner Lakes Federal Credit Union, Simpson Electric, French Creek Tavern, Uncle Ben’s Remedy, Full Strength Coffee, Lictus Keystone Inc., and Nick and Mikayla Certo.

The 2023 CCMTA Scholarship winners will be presented to the audience at this concert. On May 1, CCMTA hosted scholarship auditions at Forestville High School. Scholarships are awarded to Chautauqua County music students for summer music camp, private instruction or toward college expenses, should the student choose a career path in music. The scholarship award winners are as follows:



Owen Reyda, piano, Chautauqua Lake Central School

Kelson Laska, tuba, Frewsburg High School


Owen Darrell-Sterbak, cello: Fredonia

Isabella Anderson, violin: Falconer

Madison Howard, clarinet, Frewsburg

Clare O’Connell, soprano, Forestville

Brighton Lumia, French horn, Jamestown

Gina Delgado, clarinet, Jamestown


Ella Chagnon, snare drum, Westfield Academy & Central School

Issac Margarito, clarinet, Jefferson Middle School (Jamestown)


Alexa Rullon, alto saxophone, Cassadaga Valley

Shania Jemisen, alto voice, Dunkirk Middle School

In addition to the Spring All-County Festival and providing music study scholarships, the Chautauqua County Music Teachers’ Association also sponsors a Winter All-County Music Festival each February featuring the Elementary Band, Women’s Chorus, Jazz Chorus, Percussion or Brass Ensemble, and the Jazz Ensemble. CCMTA runs a solo festival in February, 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.


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