Junior Adam Tannenbaum showcases unique singing talent at NYSSMA


Credit: Elizabeth Feuer

Adam Tannenbaum practices for his singing audition at the New York State School Music Association. Adam takes vocal lessons and practices singing daily.

By Tommy Larson, Opinion Editor

Junior Adam Tannenbaum has a deep passion for the art of singing and is an active and involved member of the singing community on the hilltop. He has partaken in several selective NYSSMA conferences and solos in Hackley concerts. He grew up playing the piano and enjoyed playing pop songs. Soon, he learned and began to develop his passion for vocals when he discovered he loved to sing along to the songs as he played them.

Once Adam entered middle school, he joined the Hackley chorus. He quickly distinguished himself as a gifted singer and in eighth grade, he was prompted by Ms. Fogarty to try out for NYSSMA (the New York State School Music Association) for the first time. Tannenbaum started on NYSSMA level three and sang “Down by the Sally Gardens” in front of a judge. It was his first time being judged and graded on his singing.

“Going into the audition, I was extremely nervous, but as the song progressed I slowly began to focus more on the music instead of the presence of the judge,” said Adam. He ended up receiving a score of 97 out of 100 but strove to do better. That year he was invited to participate in Intermediate All-State, in which he sang with around 75 students from the New York area. He was also a member of the high school male acapella group in eighth grade, demonstrating his remarkable ability as a young male in vocals, and has helped to grow the program as it has developed upon the hilltop.

In ninth grade, Adam continued to be a member of the acapella group and sang level five NYSSMA, receiving a score of 99. However, he still went unsatisfied, desiring and knowing that he could achieve a perfect score.

Finally, in junior year, Adam competed in the level six auditions and received perfect marks from the scorer. Using this score, Adam applied to be a member of the Conference All-State, an accumulation of the best high school singers from the New York State. He was accepted into the mixed chorus and became a member of a group of 280 students with extraordinary talents.

In early December, Adam drove five hours to Rochester, New York, where the conference was taking place.

“I was really excited to be able to sing with many other skilled musicians and singers. I also was very interested in working with a renowned conductor and developing and learning choral techniques.” He was at the conference from Thursday until Sunday and missed two days of school. While in Rochester, Adam rehearsed with his fellow peers for the majority of the day. The group was working towards a concert on Sunday and had to maximize the amount of rehearsal time in order to make sure they were well prepared and knew the music.

“The concert was one of the most unbelievable things I’ve heard. The compilation of 280 voices all working together and blending in the music was marvelous.”

Adam recently participated in the Hackley Collage Concert, in which he performed a solo piece, which stunned many of the audience members. He hopes to continue his singing career for the rest of high school and potentially into college.