SLHS students lauded for their choral chops

Saranac Lake High School choral director Drew Benware and students Mary Keating and Louis Catania sing a birthday song to Saranac Lake village Trustee Allie Pelletieri. (Enterprise photo — Glynis Hart)

SARANAC LAKE — Local choral music teacher Drew Benware had something to sing about Monday night when two of his students, Mary Keating and Louis Catania, received special recognition for exceptional merit in the New York State School Music Association.

Village Mayor Clyde Rabideau added to the two Saranac Lake High School students’ honors by presenting each of them with a plaque of appreciation.

Every year music students are ranked by NYSSMA based on their performances at special evaluation events. At the spring 2017 event, Keating, who was a sophomore at the time, achieved a perfect score of 100 on her vocal solo, “The Vagabond.”

Catania’s performance was of a poem written by Robert Louis Stevenson and set to music.

“In essence, they both got a perfect score,” said Benware.

Saranac Lake Mayor Clyde Rabideau presents a plaque of appreciation to high school junior Mary Keating for her achievement in being invited to the All-State NYSSMA Chorus held in Rochester in November. (Enterprise photo — Glynis Hart)

In an earlier interview with the Enterprise, Benware noted that even when students achieve a perfect score, they aren’t always chosen for All-State. However, both students were chosen to attend the All-State NYSSMA conference at Rochester’s Eastman School of Music in November 2017, New York’s highest high school music honor.

The students livened up an otherwise mundane village board meeting by singing a birthday song to village Trustee Allie Pelletieri.

Saranac Lake Mayor Clyde Rabideau presents a plaque of appreciation for Saranac Lake High School senior Louis Catania’s achievement in being invited to the All-State NYSSMA Chorus held in Rochester in November. Trustee Richard Shapiro, left, and high school choral director Drew Benware, right, applaud. Student Mary Keating, seated, was similarly honored. (Enterprise photo — Glynis Hart)

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