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Seaford Senior Sees Success on Saxophone

Taking up the saxophone was no accident for Seaford High School senior Mary Pecoraro who decided to follow in her father’s footsteps. Now, her dedication to the instrument has earned her selection to the New York State School Music Association’s All-State festival in December.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the annual music conference will be held online this year and Mary will take part in a virtual concert that will be recorded at the conclusion of the scheduled rehearsals.

The first instrument she ever played was a flute, which was given to her as a gift. But when time came to select an instrument to play in the elementary school band, her father’s background as a saxophone player at Seaford High School swayed her decision. She played the alto sax beginning in fourth grade at Manor Elementary School, then switched to the baritone sax in seventh grade when there was an opening in the middle school jazz band.

“When I heard my dad had played that instrument, I was so inspired,” she said. “When I could first join the band, at the top of my list was saxophone.”

In high school, Mary has been a member of the jazz, marching, pep and pit bands as well as the field show which performs in the Newsday Marching Band festival and in halftime show at home football games. She and her father, James, also belong to the Seaford Community Band, which performs annual winter and spring concerts at the high school.

Mary has been selected to Nassau Music Educators Association All-County music festivals six times, as early as fifth grade. The pieces she has performed for All-County and All-State judges have increased in difficulty every year, with her most recent audition piece consisting of six pages of music. It also helped boost her confidence about performing in front of others and that comfort helped her take her music skills to the next level.

When she was told by band teacher Anthony Romeo that she was selected as an All-State musician, Mary said she was thrilled to receive such a prestigious honor.

“I worked so hard,” she said. “I felt like all that effort in put in really paid off.”