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December 11, 2019
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JP O'Hare

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High School Students Encouraged to Apply to the 2020 New York State Summer School of the Arts

Auditions & Portfolio Reviews Begin in January

The New York State Education Department today announced applications are currently being accepted for the 2020 New York State Summer School of the Arts (NYSSSA). Students in grades 8-12 throughout New York State are encouraged to apply. NYSSSA is comprised of seven component schools: Theater, Ballet, Modern Dance, Orchestral Studies, Choral Studies, Visual Arts and Media Arts. Auditions begin in January and will be held across the state. A schedule of audition sites and application materials are available on the NYSSSA website.

The New York State Summer School of the Arts, a program of the State Education Department’s Office of Cultural Education, provides over 400 of New York’s most talented students the opportunity for advanced study in the visual and performing arts fields. The summer arts residential program offers highly competitive pre-professional training to promising artists.

Students are accepted into the schools through a competitive audition and review 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.

“Arts education is profoundly important and enriching for our students,” said Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa. “The New York State Summer School of the Arts is a remarkable program where students of different backgrounds come together to study, learn and celebrate art. I encourage students from every area of the state to take advantage of this opportunity and the tuition assistance available and apply to the program.”

“NYSSSA provides access to professional artists and equipment, allowing students to hone and advance their artistic skills over the summer break,” says Interim State Education Commissioner Shannon Tahoe. “We are proud to offer this program to New York State students who have a passion for the arts.”

“We are excited to welcome talented students from across the state as we celebrate NYSSSA’s 50th anniversary,” said Executive Director Molly Hennighausen. “One of the most valuable components of this program is that students emerge from their summer at NYSSSA having grown artistically and personally. They’ve formed lasting friendships and made amazing strides in their art and budding careers. Wherever these students will go as artists, their time at NYSSSA helps shape who they are. We look forward to continuing to provide the best training to New York State students in 2020.”

Following is a schedule of the 2020 NYSSSA schools and locations:

THE SCHOOL OF BALLET will be held June 28 – July 25 at Skidmore College and the National Museum of Dance in Saratoga Springs. The School of Ballet is led by New York City Ballet Principal Dancer Daniel Ulbricht and provides intensive ballet technique instruction as well as pointe, character, jazz, variations, and pas de deux classes. In addition, a physical therapy program focuses on the needs of developing dancers. Students attend all of the New York City Ballet performances and other guest company performances throughout the program courtesy of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC).

THE SCHOOL OF THEATRE will be held in June 28 – July 25 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 Margaret Denithorne, daily classes include acting, improvisation, scene study, voice, and movement, along with guest artist workshops in stage combat, mask, Shakespeare, playwriting, tango, directing, and acting technique.

THE SCHOOL OF VISUAL ARTS will be held July 4 – July 31 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.

THE SCHOOL OF CHORAL STUDIES will be held July 5 – August 1 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. Under the direction of Dr. Hugh Ferguson Floyd, a nationally acclaimed choral director and performer, the program includes features individual and group instruction. The program, co-sponsored by the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA), includes a daily choral and ensemble rehearsals and public performance opportunities at the college and at the famed Chautauqua Institution. 

THE SCHOOL OF MEDIA ARTS will be held July 11 – August 7 at Alfred State. 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, photography, sound art, and computer animation.

THE SCHOOL OF DANCE will be held July 12 – August 8 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. Students take daily classes in Limon, Graham, Horton, Cunningham and Taylor technique, as well composition, repertory, and performance. Students also work with well-known companies- and choreographers-in-residence such as Robert Battle and Danny Grossman.

THE SCHOOL OF ORCHESTRAL STUDIES will be held July 26 – August 22 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.

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