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May 18, 2024

To the WCSMA Membership:

As the saying goes, “The days are long but the years are short.” While we are all wrapping up the 2023-2024 school year, I am preparing to finish my term as the President of the Westchester County School Music Association on June 30. The first day in July will mark my shift to Immediate Past President. With this in mind, I would like to take the opportunity to reference our incredible accomplishments together over the past two years:

  • Although it seems like an eternity has passed since the start of the pandemic, I began my Presidency as the world was opening back up. In partnership with the WCSMA Board, our festival site administrators, and our membership, we brought our All-County and Area All-State festivals back to life. This was no easy feat; we were tasked with looking at every aspect of running a festival and modifying it (or reinventing it) to suit our new reality. We have since had two outstanding festival seasons and provided our students with what we know will be a memorable lifetime experience.
  • We have arranged for and provided professional development for our WCSMA members in a variety of areas, including music for special learners, developing district-wide music programs, and workshops on the NYSSMA manual.
  • Our public presence has seen exponential growth. We are highly active on Instagram, and our WCSMA website, and continue to participate in events such as the NYSSMA Winter Conference and Joe Sugar Day. I hope that our connectivity to our membership and beyond has been strengthened as we have opened up many communication channels.
  • Through the efforts of our members, students, and parents, we were able to provide recognition for our zone’s All-State students at the Westchester County Center for the first time. This event was attended by our County Executive, our NYSSMA President, and many others who came together to support our wonderful student musicians.
  • We have created a new scholarship for students called the “WCSMA Past Presidents’ Scholarship” which provides financial assistance to college-bound music education students. It is our goal to help foster the next generation of music teachers in the hopes of growing our profession.
  • WCSMA has and will continue to recognize our incredible retirees at our annual end-of-year reception. This year, we will celebrate on June 13 at Sam’s of Gedney Way. RSVP is through Jon Riss. This is an exciting tradition and event that I look forward to each year.

I believe that these accomplishments, along with others, were made possible by the team that I had the pleasure to collaborate with over the past two years. Our current Immediate Past President (Sue Forman), President-elect (Jon Riss), Special Advisors (Janet Corvini, Stephanie Merkado-Weiss, and Kathleen Coletta Feldman), NYSSMA Zone Representative (Kim Dunkin), Treasurer (Ricky Myint), Area All-State Coordinator (Patrick Murphy), Membership Chairperson (TJ Bastone), Webmaster (Marna Weiss), All-County Coordinators (Jenny Pyne, Jenn Giustino, Caitlin Clarke, Shadman Mirza, Hannah Geiling, Emily Ilson, and Jim Mullen), and our Secretaries (Jessica Yeung and Dana Celestino): please accept my sincerest thanks for your camaraderie and teamwork. We are a family of hard-working professionals who continually go above-and-beyond the call of duty.

WCSMA is in a strong position to continue to enhance the lives of our teachers and students in Westchester County. I know that I am leaving my current role in the organization with great forward momentum and promise. I am concluding my term as President with faith that you have been listened to, benefited, and positively influenced by our actions together. I will continue to give back to Westchester and our music education community for the remainder of my career and beyond. Please know that I am here to assist or be a friendly face as the organization moves forward.

Yours in music, collaboration, and friendship.


Jamie Stroffolino
President, Westchester County School Music Association