William Floyd HS Student-Musician Earns All-National Honors


Zachary Neikens was selected for this prestigious honor through an audition process among and against top student-musicians across the nation.

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William Floyd High School senior and bass trombone player Zachary Neikens is pictured with his band teacher, Michael Cordaro.

Photo by: William Floyd School District

Mastic Beach, NY - Sept. 20, 2018 - Zachary Neikens, a senior and student-musician at William Floyd High School (bass trombone), has been selected by the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) as a member of the All-National Honor Ensembles Concert Band, a prestigious honor reserved for the “best of the best” student-musicians across the nation. Zachary is one of only 121 instrumentalists from 49 U.S. states and territories selected to perform with the Concert Band and one of only 550 student-musicians selected overall in one of five categories – concert band, jazz ensemble, mixed choir, symphony orchestra and guitar ensemble. The All-National Honors Ensembles will take place from November 25-28 at the Coronado Springs Resort at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL.
Zachary, who practices between three and four hours per day, was selected for this prestigious honor through an audition process among and against top student-musicians across the nation, as well as for qualifying and earning All-State recognition from the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA). Zachary is no stranger to accolades as he has been recognized for his talents by NYSSMA, the New York State Band Directors Association, the Suffolk County Music Educators Association and the International Trombone Association, which awarded him an “Honorable Mention” as a sophomore essentially placing him in the top six in the world among high school and college trombonists.
Zachary started playing tenor trombone in third grade at Nathaniel Woodhull Elementary School and switched to the bass trombone about four years ago during his time at William Floyd Middle School. He has performed with the North Shore Community Band, the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra of New York and the Juilliard Pre-College program. He is a member of the Tri-M Music Honor Society and performs in the jazz band, wind ensemble, orchestra, trombone quartet and brass quintet at William Floyd High School under the direction of Director of Bands, Michael Cordaro.
Zachary, who said he is “extremely honored” by this selection, will have an opportunity, along with his peers from across the nation, to perform a challenging repertoire under the baton of Dennis Glocke, the Director of Concert Bands at the Pennsylvania State University.
About the William Floyd Music Department
The award-winning William Floyd Music Department was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2018 for its rich history of excellence in music education, an awards program designed to identify Long Island high school music programs that are creating notable music experiences for their students and are incorporating the national and New York State standards for the arts in creative and meaningful ways. William Floyd was the only 2018 recipient to receive districtwide honors. Additionally, the department was named a “Best Community for Music Education” in 2017 and 2018, a designation that recognizes outstanding efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who have and continue to make music education part of a well-rounded education. William Floyd is now a five-time recipient of this honor. The department educates students in elementary, middle and high school, making music an integral part of the educational process at William Floyd. Student performing groups regularly receive honors and accolades at various levels and competitions, staff is oftentimes sought after as experts in their field, and the department contributes to the community through a variety of performances both in and out of school in an effort to spread the joy that is William Floyd music.
About the National Association for Music Education (NAfME)
NAfME, among the world’s largest arts education organizations, is the only association that addresses all aspects of music education. NAfME advocates at the local, state and national levels; provides resources for teachers, parents and administrators; hosts professional development events; and offers a variety of opportunities for students and teachers. The Association orchestrates success for millions of students nationwide and has supported music educators at all teaching levels for more than a century. With more than 60,000 members, the organization is the national voice of music education in the United States.