- Westmoreland Central School
Senior Josh Davis First Ever Westmoreland Student to Participate in NYSSMA Conference
Westmoreland Jr./Sr. High School senior Josh Davis is taking his musical talents to the state level.
Josh was the first ever Westmoreland student selected to attend the New York State School Music Association’s (NYSSMA) 83rd Annual Winter Conference in Rochester from November 29 to December 2. According to Mrs. Cutler, Jr./Sr. High School music teacher and band instructor, participating in the conference is the highest honor a music student in New York State can achieve. Only a select group get to take part - - 6,460 students from across the state auditioned, 2,940 were recommended to NYSSMA and 889 were accepted. Josh was one of only eight snare drummers selected from the 137 that auditioned.
“Josh is a hardworking, devoted and trustworthy student,” Mrs. Cutler said. “He has dedicated himself to his craft and has developed excellent practice habits and serves as an excellent representation of our music department, school and community. He is an outstanding person and musician and I am proud of him for accomplishing this level of excellence.”
This year’s conference focused on two of the four artistic processes on which the new New York State Learning Standards are based - - “Create and Connect.” In addition to rehearsing and ultimately performing, New York State’s best music students were treated to special showcases from various musical groups throughout the weekend.
“It’s always an exciting opportunity to hear great music, learn from master clinicians and celebrate music education in New York State,” Michael Salzman, NYSSMA president, said.
Josh was selected to the All-State Symphonic Band. The group, which was mentored and conducted by Dr. Cynthia Johnston Turner of the University of Georgia, performed on December 2 at the Rochester Convention Center. Josh was one of four students to play in the battery section.
“I was a little nervous at first because every person is a top player in the state,” Josh said. “So, you really don’t know what to expect at first. But, I wish it didn’t end because it was a lot of fun.”
Josh says he first became interested in music at the age of four when his mom started giving him piano lessons. After watching his dad’s band perform growing up, he decided to become a drummer.
He takes great pride in being the first ever Westmoreland student selected to attend a NYSSMA Conference.
“It’s pretty cool, and kind of weird at the same time to think that you are the first to do something,” Josh said. “I wanted to set a great standard on behalf of Westmoreland.”
Josh plans to attend college next year to pursue a career in music education and technology. He is currently considering four schools.