Newark musicians selected to All-State Conference

Newark High School seniors Jaston Brooks and Rachel George were selected to participate virtually in the New York State School Music Association’s All-State Conference later this year.

Both were selected based on their scores at the NYSSMA spring solo festival when they were sophomores. The festival was not held last spring because of COVID-19. 

Brooks, who earned a 98 score for his bass solo, is a member of Jazz Choir and Chamber Choir.

“Jaston's acceptance into Conference All-State is well-deserved,” NHS vocal music teacher Kate Flock said. “This is a student who lives and breathes singing, everything from classical to Broadway. Jaston has put a lot of hard work into his singing and always seeks out new experiences with music. I am so happy that in this time of so many unknowns, Jaston will still be able to have this experience.”

George, who earned a 99 score, was named second chair in the All-State Wind Ensemble. She has played the French horn since she was in fourth grade. She also plays piano, participates in the NHS Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band and Brass Quartet, as well as the Mixed Choir.

NHS senior and percussionist Joshua Mercer was selected as an alternate based on his 98 score on a snare drum. He is a member of Jazz Band, Marching Band, Wind Ensemble and Downbeat.

"I am so happy that these wonderful students have a chance, albeit atypical, to perform in this honored festival,” NHS instrumental music teacher Bob Humphrey said. “It's so important to find a way to keep music in their lives, and we are thankful to NYSSMA for arranging a way they can participate and be celebrated.” 

This summer, George and Mercer played in the Newark Park Band and Seneca Falls Community Band.

Jaston Brooks.
Joshua Mercer and Rachel George.