Ward Melville High School junior, singer-songwriter and former Broadway actress Ava Della Pietra has been named a winner in the New York State School Music Association’s 2021 Calls for Creators Competition. Ava won with her two original songs, “Moon” and “Optimist,” in the Songwriters category.

An introspective single about saying goodbye to her brother, a source of comfort and inspiration, “Moon” is a poignant ballad about impermanence and coming of age. “Optimist” is an uplifting and inspiring song about overcoming negativity and keeping a positive mindset.

For the first time, NYSSMA held three calls for student-musicians in three categories – Composers, Electronic Music and Songwriters. Students received a written evaluation of their music and each submitted work was also considered for inclusion in one of three concerts at the All-State Winter Conference in Rochester, New York. Student-creators were also invited to participate in coaching workshops and a postconcert discussion.