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Hastings High School Senior Named NYSSMA Alternate

Hastings High School senior William Muller, tenor alternate in the 2021 New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) All-A Hastings High School senior has been selected as an alternate in the 2021 New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) All-State.

William Muller, who has been playing music and singing since early childhood, was selected as a tenor alternate this year.

“When I was three years old, I found out that I had perfect pitch,” he said.

It was years, however, before Muller began to sing in organized groups.

“I was playing music a lot and taking piano lessons, but I was always anxious about joining a school group,” he said. “In seventh grade, I pushed past that fear and joined the Farragut Middle School Chorus and it changed my life.”

Learning techniques and furthering his skills in the Hastings-on-Hudson SchoolDistrict music programs, Muller grew confident in his abilities and put them to the test.

“Just last year, I finally overcame my fear of auditions and signed up for NYSSMA,” he said.

Each spring, students have the opportunity to prepare a solo or small ensemble piece to perform in a NYSSMA festival. The students and their music educator dedicate countless hours to practicing their pieces for adjudication by NYSSMAofficials. The students earn their spots on NYSSMA's All-State Ensembles by scoring a 98 or higher during their auditions at solo and ensemble festivals. From the thousands of students who audition each year, only about 900 are selected.

“I was actually surprised at the results,” Muller said. “I was like ‘oh my god, really? Well, let’s see what happens.’”

Muller not only auditioned as a vocalist, he also displayed his abilities on another instrument.

“I’ve been playing percussion in the band, mainly the timpani,” he said. “I did well in the audition and received some positive comments from the adjudicator so that was great.”

As a senior, Muller said he has been focusing on his academics, looking at prospective colleges and working on college applications. But music is never far from his mind.

“I have a lot on my plate right now,” he said. “I’m hoping to study physics, math and other sciences in college. I just hope that I’ll be able to fit a little music in there, too.”