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New Scotland Archives The Altamont Enterprise, July 8, 2010
By Saranac Hale Spencer
VOORHEESVILLE Michael Soressi sees history happening every day.
“It seems more real,” he said of his favorite subject, comparing it to other disciplines. “I can understand it,” he said.
Soressi, Voorheesville’s salutatorian, plans to pursue history when he begins studying at Brigham Young University, near Salt Lake City.
From middle school until he entered his junior year at Voorheesville, Soressi was home schooled. He credits his mother with teaching him to write well, which, he said, broadens every field of study. The way she taught fostered in him an ability to teach himself, he said.
When his family moved from Colorado, the rules for home schooling in New York were too opaque, so Soressi entered public school in Voorheesville his junior year.
“Being a home-schooled Mormon piper, it’s hard to fit in,” he laughed, adding that high school wasn’t so bad. He’s glad that he ended up in a small school.
Soressi was unable to attend his graduation because he was at his cousin’s wedding in Colorado during the school’s June 25 commencement.
As a boy in Maryland, Soressi was intrigued by a friend’s bagpipe and began playing it himself.
It is “exciting to play them,” he said, adding, “I like the challenge.”
Piobaireachd, which Soressi described as a classical type of bagpipe music, is his favorite to play. The timing is different than it is in most music and there is no steady beat, he said. It is slow, calming music and the songs are usually quite long. “I think they’re pretty,” he said, adding that the music might be “more interesting to play than listen to.”
Soressi has little hesitation in undertaking new pursuits.
When he was 15, living in Colorado, he planted a garden that required no water for an elementary school that was celebrating its 150th anniversary and had a dry patch of ground in its front yard. He researched plants that could survive there and earned the rank of Eagle Scout for the project.
After he starts college, Soressi plans to take a two-year hiatus, when he turns 19, to do a mission trip.
“I definitely believe a lot in my church,” said the young Mormon. A mission is usually done with a partner and takes two years. Part of why he chose Brigham Young University is because the school, associated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, would allow for the break in education.
Soressi is committed to the idea of completing a mission because, he said, he wants to share what he believes with others. Of his faith, he said, “It’s given me a good foundation.”