WFMS seventh grader named SCMEA Private Scholarship recipient


William Floyd Middle School seventh-grade student Ryan Formato was recently selected as a recipient of the Suffolk County Music Educators Association (SCMEA) Private Study Scholarship for his excellence in percussion instruments. For this scholarship, Ryan will receive percussion instruction this upcoming summer with Jules Radino, drummer for the classic rock band Blue Öyster Cult. He will be honored at the upcoming All-County Festival concerts.

Ryan has been playing the drums and taking lessons for the past seven years, and hopes to one day turn his passion into a career by becoming a professional drummer. Ryan is currently the percussion section leader for the William Floyd Middle School seventh/eighth-grade concert band under the direction of Christine Furlani, and also plays drum set as a member of the William Floyd Middle School jazz band under the direction of Dawn Conefry.

As a sixth grader, Ryan received a perfect score of 28/28 on his Level 2 snare drum NYSSMA solo performance, and was selected for the SCMEA Division I East All-County Band. Outside of the classroom, Ryan plays in a band with his siblings, and recently performed his first show at Long Island FunFest, held at Suffolk County Community College.

Ryan is currently preparing for four solo performances for NYSSMA: Level 2 bell solo; Level 3 drum set solo; Level 3 multi-percussion solo; and Level 5 snare drum solo. 

Ryan’s scholarship is in memory of Joel Ratner, a gentleman who served as president of SCMEA from 2000 to 2001. Ratner also served as the coordinator of music and fine arts in the Brentwood School District, as well as the president of the New York State Council of Administrators of Music Education Suffolk Chapter, and a member of the NYS Regents Task Force for Teacher and Principal Effectiveness. His belief that all students must be provided with high-quality, sequential arts education, helped to shape the focus for many of his colleagues and influenced programs throughout New York State. 


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