RAVENA — Ravena Coeymans Selkirk high school student musician Junior Alivia Ortiz was chosen to perform at the New York State School Music Association Conference All-State Festival in December.
Each year, students from across New York State are notified that they were selected to participate in the NYSSMA Conference All-State music ensembles based on the high scores they earned at the previous spring’s NYSSMA solo festivals. This acceptance will also allow her to apply to the National Association for Music Education All-Eastern Festival.
This year’s concert is to be held at the Eastman Theater in Rochester following the all-state festival that runs from Thursday, Dec. 1 to Sunday, Dec. 4.
“It was a bit overwhelming at first, but I am so excited to be able to participate in the festival,” Ortiz said. “Music is a love of mine, something I really connect with. RCS has been able to provide so many music opportunities during my time here, it is so rewarding for it to all come together.”
Ortiz said she dedicated her achievement to her grandmother, who inspired her to sing and to work diligently towards her craft.
“I always used to sing to her in Italian and even got to sing her the NYSSMA solo that got me accepted to the festival before she passed and at her funeral,” Ortiz said. “She loved my voice and is a big reason why I continue to sing today.”
Ortiz’s commitment and determination paid off. She earned a perfect 100 score on her NYSSMA All-State Solo this spring, ranking her one of the top altos in the state. She has since been selected to perform in the Mixed Chorus during the festival. Outside of the chorus, she is an active member of the RCS community.
Not only did Ortiz end last year with a 101 average, but she is also involved in tennis, track and field (400m and pole vault), and wrestling. She is also Co-President of the RCS Class of 2024, a part of Student Government, in the National Honor Society, and the Students Against Destructive Decisions Club.
Musically, she also participates in Piano Club, is in the High School Band, Jazz Band, Tri-M Music Honor Society, and participates in the drama production. Outside of school, she loves being in nature, hiking, skiing, snowboarding, practicing jujitsu, and more.
“I had the great pleasure of seeing Alivia in one of her first ensemble concerts at RCS when she was in 5th grade at AWB. I was so very impressed with her talents and preparation even then, as she jumped between vocal and instrumental performances throughout the night. We are incredibly proud to see her many years of hard work and dedication recognized as part of this prestigious festival,” said RCS High School Choral Director and K-12 Art and Music Curriculum Content Specialist, Michelle McLoughlin. “This process is extremely competitive, and we could not be more pleased that she will be representing RCS at All-State.”
In speaking with Ortiz about her journey to this festival, she shared this piece of advice for students, “Work hard and set priorities, but don’t forget to take a step back sometimes to enjoy life and don’t be afraid to go to someone for support. It is also important to try to be that support for someone else, to spread kindness. There is always someone you influence with your positivity, even if you don’t realize it.”