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Two Clarkstown Seniors Selected for NYSSMA All-State Music Festival

Congratulations to Clarkstown Central School District’s 2020 New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) All-State musicians Ethan Miller (bass) and Lila Villasenor (violin)! 

These two Clarkstown High School South seniors have been selected to participate in this year’s All-State Music Festival. Miller will perform with the Mixed Chorus and Villasenor will perform with the String Orchestra. 

About Ethan Miller
Ethan got his start with the Helen Hayes Youth Theatre at just seven years old, where he discovered his true passion for singing. Fast forward to today, Ethan is a four-year member of both the chorus and the Ambassadors (Glee Club) and a three-year member of the Troubadours.  

“Ethan's work ethic is beyond reproach,” said Chorus and IB Theatre Teacher Kip Bonsignore. “He always comes to rehearsals prepared and has strong vocals that provide a solid foundation for the rest of the ensemble.” Bonsignore also credits the singer’s tenacity and ability to hone his skills for the All-State selection. 

“I was an alternate last year,” said Miller. “It feels amazing to have my time, effort and talent rewarded in this way.” 

Ethan’s future plans include attending law school to become an attorney. He hopes to continue exploring his love of the performing arts through extracurriculars and community theatre. 

About Lila Villasenor
Lila discovered her passion for music when she was only four years old. Largely inspired by watching her cousins perform and listening to classical music and film scores, she fell in love with the sound of the violin.  

“Lila is one of the most exceptional students I have ever had,” said Orchestra Teacher Lydia Leiztman. 

She performed for the Board of Education in the second grade. Later on in the eighth grade, she arranged a piece for her class inspired by “The Office” theme song. While in high school, Lila inspired her fellow string musicians to lend their talents in the pit orchestra for South’s musical.

“I performed in the All-State Symphonic Orchestra last year and had a great time,” said Villasenor. “I am grateful to be able to participate again.” 

Lila is currently applying to colleges as a music composition major and dreams of becoming a film composer. This spring, her original composition “Ascending” will be performed by the Clarkstown High School South Orchestra. 

Auditions for All-State ensembles are highly competitive. Selections for this year’s festival were based on Spring 2019 NYSSMA solo ratings. Both students achieved a score of 100.  

All-State musicians typically travel to Rochester for a four-day festival in early December. However, this year’s festival will be entirely virtual. Students will prepare pieces with support from their music teachers. Performances will be recorded and submitted to NYSSMA for editing into a final, virtual concert.

Congratulations once again to Ethan and Lila and to all of our Clarkstown Central School District music teachers, who have encouraged and inspired them over the years!

 Lila Villasenor   


Ethan Miller