PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. - Pleasantville High School vocalists Liana Frasca, Nickolas Andreacchi and Justin Maldonado have had an eventful school year, earning state and national recognition with their voices.
Frasca and Andreacchi have been selected to perform at the New York State Schools Music Association's All-State Conference Dec. 5-8 in Rochester, while Maldonado performed with the All-National Honors Mixed Choir at the National Association for Music Education gala in Nashville on October 30.
"The Nashville trip was absolutely phenomenal," Maldonado said. "I cannot stress enough how much of a pleasure it was to work with Dr. Rollo Dilworth again. He was my conductor at all state last year. He is truly the greatest conductor I have ever had.
"The best part of the experience, other than the bone-chilling sound of 350 extremely talented voices singing, was the ability to meet so many students from all across the country."
Frasca said she is drawn to classical music but also a big fan of Pop and Rhythm and Blues.
"I'll sing anything, really," she said. "But there is nothing that inspires me as much as the unity of a choir. It was such an honor to be in one big room with the best of the best. There was just so much talent there. I still get chills when I think of it."
Andreacchi says he values his high school education and works hard at his studies, which can be pressure-filled at times. He hopes to attend a top musical institution, such as Eastman School of Music at The University of Rochester, and further his vocal and musical composition skills.
"I often feel 'stressed out' from working so hard," Andreacchi said. "Music balances my education by providing me a way to release all of the stress of my everyday life as a high school student through song. The NYSSMA was a very pleasant experience.
"Many singers dislike the process, but I love the idea of preparing a song for months and then being critiqued. I encourage any high school student in chorus to sing at NYSSMA because the process not only makes you a better singer, but forces you to be responsible and confident."
Frasca uses her music as a motivation for other parts of her life. She plans to pursue a career on International Communications and says she is fascinated by different cultures. She hopes to help underprivileged communities around the world realize their goals and believes that there's a way to work her singing into her dream.
"I've always believed that it's impossible to put any enthusiasm into life unless there's a passion to fuel you as you go," Frasca said. "Being as passionate as I am about singing and music motivates me to do just about anything. I used to be serious about piano until I hit high school, when life became a lot more hectic.
"It hasn't stopped me from singing all the time, though. From the moment my bags hit the floor at home, I'm already singing at the top of my lungs. I'm sure my upstairs neighbor loves that."
Andreacchi, who plays drums, guitar, piano, trombone, and bass, said he has also "dabbled" in playing trumpet, baritone euphonium, ukulele, and a few more instruments as well as his vocals.
"I spend two-three hours composing, reading, playing, and listening to music every day," he said. "My favorite genre of music to perform is classical. I listen to a wide range of music; ranging from *NSYNC and Justin Timberlake to Ralph Vaughan Williams and Leonard Bernstein.
Maldonado also plays several instruments and uses his art to motivate his studies. He plans on music being a large part of his college experience and will also pursue studies in computer science.
"Music brings something to my overall education that would be missing if I didn't have it," Andreacchi said. "Music provides an outlet for creativity. It also helps students become used to trying new things and become more outgoing/friendly people.