Officials cite health and safety concerns for students and attendees in midst of COVID-19 pandemic
The New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) announced that, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 All State Festival and Winter Conference, held annually at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center, has been canceled.
The announcement comes after officials decided the health and safety of 900 exceptional student-musicians and 2,000 music educators in attendance for professional development opportunities is of the utmost importance, and cannot be guaranteed as of this writing.
Throughout NYSSMA’s history, the decision to cancel the All State Festival and Winter Conference has been made only twice: during the war years of 1943-45, and because of the 1991 ice storm that caused power outages throughout New York, including Kiamesha Lake’s Concord Hotel, site of that year’s festival.
“The selection process for the 2020 All-State ensembles are complete and students will be notified in August of their status,” said Dr. David M. Brown, NYSSMA president. “While this year’s festival will not be held, we believe it is important to acknowledge the musical efforts of those students who applied by recognizing their acceptance into our prestigious ensembles. We hope that, in some small way, teachers, families and friends can find a way to celebrate the accomplishment of being selected to a New York All-State Ensemble.”
NYSSMA, the New York State School Music Association, is the largest state affiliate of the National Association for Music Education. Its mission is to advance music education across New York for its membership and students in member school programs.