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Musical Student Standouts at W.T. Clarke High School

Athina Petkanas with
Nikhil Panickssery and Ms. Molly Ingoglia thumbnail219121
Ryan Giannitelli  thumbnail219122
W.T. Clarke High School’s music department in the East Meadow School District is proud to recognize three student standouts, seniors Athina Petkanas and Nikhil Panickssery, and junior Ryan Giannitelli.

Petkanas was nominated for Best Actress in a Musical by the Roger Rees Awards for Excellence in Student Performance. She qualified for the award after her performance of Maria Rainer in Clarke High School's production of “The Sound of Music” on Feb. 11-12. It is currently the only student award in the New York metropolitan area that recognizes distinction in student performance and outstanding achievement in high school musical theatre programs.

“I’m glad that younger kids in the district can see that it’s possible to achieve stuff like this,” Petkanas said. “What means the most to me is being a role model for those students and I’m happy that they now have the inspiration to do well for themselves and give back to this program.”

Earlier this year, Panickssery received the Long Island Arts Alliance Scholar Artist Award of Merit. Each year, top high school seniors who are nominated by their school districts, and then selected for the honor by arts educators and community leaders, are recognized as “the best of the best” on Long Island.

“I’ve put a lot of time into music and my studies,” said Panickssery, who is a member of Clarke’s Wind Ensemble. “I like to take a lot of challenging courses, so between my academics and music, they both end up taking up a lot of my time. Putting in all that work and getting recognized for it is pretty cool.”

Giannitelli, who plays the viola and sings tenor in Clarke’s chorale, was accepted to the Robert L. Poster Apprentice Conducting Program through the New York Youth Symphony. Under the guidance of NYYS Music Director Michael Repper, this program gives aspiring orchestral conductors the opportunity to study the art of conducting through rehearsal technique, stick technique, score analysis, podium time, observation and guided talkback sessions. Through this program, Giannitelli learned about the art of conducting and had the opportunity to conduct small ensembles through the Youth Symphony.

“It meant a lot to me to earn this internship,” Giannitelli said. “Getting the opportunity from Ms. Shenker to do the workshops, I understand that not too many people get the opportunity to do something like that. It made me really excited to be a part of this.”

The district congratulates W.T. Clarke High School’s music department and their outstanding students on all of their success.

Date Added: 6/17/2022