When Camden Middle School’s vocal ensembles take the stage for concerts this spring, a new face will be on the conductor’s stand.
Ryanne Solinsky joined the Camden Middle School teaching staff as a music teacher and choir director at the beginning of January 2023.
A native of Waterville, Ryanne has been performing since she was in the first grade and was an immediate standout on the stage. She performed vocally through high school and into college, and also played the saxophone in her school band.
Solinsky is a December 2022 graduate of the prestigious Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam. While developing into a well-rounded musical professional, she learned to play the piano and ukulele. After earning her diploma, she quickly dove into full-time teaching in her new position at Camden, where she leads the 5th grade, 6th grade, and 7th/8th grade choirs.
While she’s relatively new to full-time teaching as a career, Ryanne has brought a confident, student-centered approach to the position, and feels that student-teacher collaboration is of the utmost importance to the experience she provides, and the repertoire her students will perform on stage.
“I’m a very student-based teacher,” Solinsky said. “I like to get their (the students’) opinions and see what they like. I want to sing music that they can relate to and that they’ve heard on the radio or in musicals. I think it’s important to do the classics and older stuff, but it’s also important to embrace change and do newer stuff.”
When she’s not teaching in Camden, Solinsky maintains a busy schedule, often involving the arts. She regularly finds avenues to perform, including in community theatre productions. Her dedication to the musical arts is also evident in an hour-long commute to work, as she still resides in her hometown across Oneida County.
The students and colleagues she has found here in Camden have helped make the opportunity worth the drive.
“The administration and faculty here has been so incredible,” Solinsky said. “Everyone has been so kind. Everyone I've talked to has been willing to help me in any way they can. I feel very supported in this district, and I know that can sometimes be hard to come by.”
Just as the Camden community has supported her, she hopes to support her students towards the most important reward of vocal music: Finding your own voice.
“I just want everyone to be able to sing,” Solinsky said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s perfect… As long as I get the kids singing and they’re enjoying the music that they’re singing, that’s what matters.”
She will direct her first performance at Camden on March 13th, when CMS hosts its fifth grade “Music In Our Schools Month” concert.