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December 14, 2016
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JP O'Hare

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Education Department Encourages Students To Apply For The 2017 New York State Summer School Of The Arts


The New York State Education Department today announced that applications are currently being accepted for the 2017 New York State Summer School of the Arts (NYSSSA). High school students throughout New York State are encouraged to apply. Auditions begin in January and will be held across the state. A schedule of audition sites and application materials are available at:

“We’re proud to celebrate the 48th season of the New York State Summer School of the Arts,” said Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa. “The Board of Regents encourages students from across the state to apply to this remarkable program. From ballet to theatre to orchestra, the Summer School of the Arts gives students the opportunity to learn from world-class artists and performers and to develop their artistic talents.” 

“The Summer School of the Arts provides over 400 of New York’s talented students the opportunity to study with professionals in the visual and performing arts,” said State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia. “The students’ presentations and performances are inspiring and a testament to their tremendous talent. I encourage all those interested to apply to the program and ask art and music teachers to encourage their students to apply.”

“The arts play an important and valuable role in education and in life,” said Regent Roger Tilles, Chair of the Board of Regents Cultural Education Committee. “That’s why we’re proud to host the Summer School of the Arts program for hundreds of talented high school students every year. I urge students to apply to the program and audition at sites throughout the state this winter.”

Founded in 1970, NYSSSA is a program of the State Education Department. The program provides more than 400 talented high school students the opportunity to study with some of the world’s foremost artists in the visual and performing arts. Four weeks of intensive work and interaction with internationally acclaimed artists and performing arts companies, such as the New York City Ballet and the Philadelphia Orchestra, give students a unique opportunity to experience the rigors of their chosen arts field.

Students are accepted into the schools through a competitive audition process conducted by the artistic staff. Tuition rates are maintained at a modest level and tuition assistance is available, enabling every student who qualifies the opportunity to participate in the program.

Following is a schedule of the 2017 NYSSSA schools and locations:

THE SCHOOL OF BALLET will be held June 25 – July 22 at Skidmore College and the National Museum of Dance in Saratoga Springs. The program is directed by New York City Ballet Principal Dancer Daniel Ulbricht and provides a professional experience for 60 of New York State’s most gifted young dancers. Through tickets provided by the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC), students attend all of the New York City Ballet performances and other guest company performances at SPAC and receive daily instruction from internationally acclaimed guest artists.

THE SCHOOL OF CHORAL STUDIES will be held July 2 – July 29 at SUNY Fredonia. The program offers students an opportunity for concentrated study in individual voice instruction, diction, theory, ear training, music history, and musical theatre. Students also participate in the NYSSSA Choir, under the direction of Dr. Hugh Ferguson Floyd, a nationally acclaimed choral director and performer. The program, co-sponsored by the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA), includes a daily choral rehearsal, private voice instruction, and intensive classes in musicianship, musical theatre and opera scenes, as well as public performance opportunities at the college and at the famed Chautauqua Institution.

THE SCHOOL OF DANCE will be held July 16 – August 12 at Skidmore College and the National Museum of Dance in Saratoga Springs. Under the direction of Carolyn Adams, former Paul Taylor Principal Dancer, students study with a diverse faculty of nationally acclaimed dancers and choreographers. Students take daily classes in Limon, Graham, Horton, Cunningham and Taylor technique, as well composition work, repertory, and performance. Students also work with well-known companies and choreographers-in-residence such as Robert Battle and Danny Grossman. 

THE SCHOOL OF MEDIA ARTS will announce dates and location in late winter 2017. Under the direction of Ghen Zando-Dennis, a nationally known media educator and videographer, the program consists of a review of media fundamentals, instruction in new techniques and processes, instruction in aesthetics, and surveys of contemporary work, trends and ideas. Co-sponsored by the New York State Art Teachers Association (NYSATA) and the New York State Media Arts Teachers Association (NYSMATA), students are immersed in production work in the areas of 16 mm film, digital, video, electronic sound art, and computer animation and intermedia. 

THE SCHOOL OF ORCHESTRAL STUDIES will be held July 23 – August 19 at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs. The program is co-sponsored by the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA). Under the direction of Dr. Bruce Kiesling, the School of Orchestral Studies has a unique partnership with the Philadelphia Orchestra and SPAC, providing students with an opportunity to study with the world-class musicians of the Philadelphia Orchestra and attend performances at SPAC, while living and working in a professional environment as members of a symphony orchestra. 

THE SCHOOL OF THEATRE will be held in July 9 – August 5 at SUNY Delhi. The program provides students with intensive instruction in acting, movement, improvisation and voice, working side by side with nationally recognized faculty.  Under the artistic direction of Peg Denithorne, daily classes include acting, improvisation, scene study, voice, and movement, along with guest artist workshops in stage combat, mask work, Shakespeare, playwriting, tango, directing, and acting technique.

THE SCHOOL OF VISUAL ARTS will be held July 1 – July 28 at SUNY Fredonia. Directed by acclaimed artist and Metropolitan Museum of Art educator, Yayoi Asoma, and co-sponsored by the New York State Art Teachers Association (NYSATA), students work in sculpture studies, mixed media, figure studies, printmaking, drawing and painting, landscape drawing and painting and figure sculpture under the direction of noted exhibiting artists and educators. The program includes drawing and painting from live models, 3-dimensional installations, modeling life-size objects in clay, practice with printmaking techniques, and field trips. 

NYSSSA serves an important need to foster and enhance the artistic abilities of the state’s most gifted young artists regardless of race, religion or economic status. Follow-up studies on the program have identified former students who now hold positions within top professional companies around the world.