Through the state-wide accessibility of this process, participants receive educational value through written and audio recorded feedback from highly-trained adjudicators. Students and teachers are given results and suggested opportunities for improvement.

OA’s Music Department has hosted a three day NYSSMA festival every year since 2008. School ensembles, or Major Organizations, can participate for a rating that acknowledges demonstrated levels of achievement. They are judged on overall tone quality, balance and other musical elements. The process provides an authentic assessment of an ensemble’s progress throughout a school year. Volunteers are needed each day of the festival to help with registration, stage set-up or as guides.