Music Music Students of the Month
Nine area music students were honored as the Mayo Performing Arts Center's Music Students of the Month – Outstanding Vocalist -- prior to the Saturday, May 4 performance by Kathleen Battle. The students hail from Florham Park, Chester, Morristown, Mendham, Rockaway, Budd Lake and Chester.
Students were nominated by their teachers and were chosen by the Theatre's Education Department based on their commitment to and excellence in the performing arts. The Theatre will honor a group of students every month throughout the season and invites area teachers to nominate students for this honor. Students will be invited to perform at a year-end recital in June.
Music students of the Month are: (bios provided by school)
8th grade, Ridgedale Middle School, Florham Park
Nominated by Sondra Paulson
Riley is an 8th grade student at Ridgedale Middle School. She is an outstanding vocalist and pianist. She has been an active choral member at RMS, as well as a member of the Select Choir each of her middle school years. Some of her featured performances were lead roles in Romeo & Juliet, Fiddler on the Roof, Nephew Fred, The Wizard of Oz, and she has a lead role in the current performance of Pirates of Penzance all at Ridgedale Middle School. She has been an active vocalist at the RMS Talent Show, as well as a vocal soloist during school concerts. She will be a featured soloist at the RMS Spring Concert on May 16th, where she will be performing "I Dreamed A Dream" from Les Miserables. Most notably, Riley is part of an ensemble called "Park Performers". This middle-school aged group volunteers their time to perform musical selections at local assisted living facilities. Riley is an outstanding vocalists and student who will continue to find great success!
8th grade, Black River Middle School, Chester
Nominated by Kathleen Vespignani
Jenna is an 8th grade student a Black River Middle School and is an outstanding vocalist. She is a current member of the 7th and 8th grade Chorus and a soprano in the Select Chorus. Jenna has been a member of the chorus for three years, as well as a member of the Middle School's Select Chorus; an audition-only group that performs more advanced and technically challenging repertoire. As a Soprano 1, Jenna works hard to be a leader in her section and comes prepared as a positive role model for the other members of the chorus. She is dedicated and committed to her part in the group, encouraging others and supporting her peers. Her vocal abilities highlight her Classical training. Additionally, Jenna had an important role in the school musicals two years in a row, having leading roles in "Into the Woods" and "Bye Bye Birdie". Jenna is a well-rounded performer, not only being involved in two of the vocal groups and the Drama Club in the middle school but also participating in the Band program. Her exceptional musicality is evident in her performances, whether she is singing, acting, or playing an instrument. Jenna will continue to find success as a well rounded student and dedicated vocalist!
Senior, Morristown Beard School, Morristown
Nominated by Bruce Van Hoven
Grace is a senior at Morristown Beard School and is a 4 year member of both the chorus and the a cappella group. As a singer, she is comfortable across a wide range of styles. She has been a featured vocalist for many school events, including her school's annual Martin Luther King Day celebration, International Week, Coffee Houses, Contemporary Music Workshop and as a soloist singing the National Anthem before sporting events. In addition, she has always been a leader in her section, where she both leads by example and makes individual suggestions or corrections for her peers. Grace is a well rounded student who plays an active role in her school community. Grace will continue to find success as a student and musician!
Audrey Susan Hahn
8th grade, Frelinghuysen Middle School, Morristown
Nominated by Larry Gonsky
Audrey is an 8th grade student at Frelinghuysen Middle School and is an exceptional choir member. She is extremely enthusiastic, helpful, willing and talented vocal student. Audrey is a role model extraordinaire and the leading figure in both the 8th grade choir and select chorus. She expands the musical interests of other students by recommending new literature. Audrey plays piano and studies voice privately with Elise Giga, participates in the Saturday Musical Theater Advanced Workshop at MPAC, and is lead soprano in the Frelinghuysen Middle School Select Chorus. Some of her previous musical theatre roles include Mary in the Secret Garden, Dorothy (The Wizard of Oz) in Hooray for Hollywood, Wendy (Peter Pan) in a Disney Review, Bet, narrator and Assitant 1 in Oliver,Soloist and a company member in Mayo Performing Arts Company. Currently Audrey is playing the role of Chassie in A Chorus Line and will be performing as Annie in Annie at the Frelinghuysen Middle School Playhouse this spring. Audrey is always volunteering to help other students. Last Spring Audrey volunteered to mentor another child, teaching her to sing in Italian. Audrey is a well rounded student, who continues to be an outstanding member of the choir and school community!
Sophomore, West Morris Mendham High School, Mendham
Nominated by Patty Danner
Kendall is a sophomore at West Morris Mendham High School and is one of the most mature, responsible and outstanding vocalists! Aside from being an advanced musician and sight-reader, she is enthusiastic about singing and a natural leader. Kendall is a member of the Chamber Choir, Mendham Voices, Treble Makers (female a cappella group), Wind Ensemble, and Marching Band at Mendham High School. She was also a part of the Morris County Honor Choir and Region Choir this year. She has been featured many times this year as a soloist in her schools ensembles, but most notably in our Messiah Concert where she sang How Beautiful are the Feet. Kendall is very serious about her studies, but has an amiable personality that makes her very popular among her peers. She understands that you have to work hard to be successful, but also takes the time to enjoy the process. Kendall's passion for music and school will allow her to have continued success in her future!
Junior, Morristown High School, Morristown
Nominated by Michael Nuzzo and Norma Davis
Katherine is a junior at Morristown High School and is an exceptional vocalist and brilliant musician. She is a member of the Morristown High School Choir and has performed on stage in the school musicals. She also takes piano lessons. Katherine loves to perform and has achieved a number of honors. Katherine recently represented MHS and NJ in the All Eastern United States Choir as well as being accepted into the NJ All-State Choir for two consecutive years and auditioned in April for her third year. She sings both in and out of school frequently and has recently been recognized as the winner of the Morristown's Got Talent program at the Mayo Performing Arts Center, performing a vocal/piano duo with another Morristown High School student. She also enjoys listening to and analyzing music. Katherine is a wonderful student who is passionate about music, and is captivating to listen to when she sings. Katherine is already actively pursuing to continue music in college where she will find great success!
Junior, Morris Hills High School, Rockaway
Nominating Instructor: Ms. Anna D'Achille
Emily is a junior at Morris Hills High School and is heavily involved in the vocal music department. She demonstrates vocal technique, musicianship, and musicality that is far beyond her years. She is a member of the non-auditioned Concert Choir, and two advanced auditioned ensembles, the Knights Templar and Madrigal Choir, which consists of the top 24 singers in the 110-person vocal music department. She also is enrolled in the Vocal Performance Studio class in which she has made tremendous progress and growth. Emily also studies voice privately. As if her musical involvement at Morris Hills wasn't enough, she also auditioned for and has been accepted to Morris County Honor Choir and Region I Honor Choir. Her musical and vocal abilities are only complemented and magnified by her leadership and incredibly positive attitude in both ensemble and solo performances. Emily is a great helper, leader and has a heart of gold. Her voice is absolutely exquisite. Emily's music abilities and dedication are extremely impressive and will continue to have a wonderful and bright future!!
8th grade, Mount Olive Middle School, Budd Lake
Nominated by Susan Saposnik
Odinaka is an 8th grade student at Mount Olive Middle School and is an outstanding vocalist! He has sung in the Mount Olive Middle School chorus all three years and has had great success. He learns his parts intuitively and is always willing to lend a helping hand to his teachers and other students. Odinaka's strong voice is able to carry the section and help the other boys as they learn their parts. He has also been a member of the New Jersey Junior High Honors Choir two years in a row. This is an auditioned group that only takes 100 students from the entire state. Odinaka is a well rounded and enthusiastic student who always gives his very best with each performance.
He is truly an asset to school's chorus and school community. Odinaka is an outstanding student and vocalist, who will continue to find success in the years to come!
Senior, West Morris Central High School, Chester
Nominated by Caitlin O'Leary
Stephanie is a senior at West Morris Central High School is one of the most agile, musical, and talented vocalists! She has a phenomenal work ethic and is always looking to improve. Stephanie's voice is absolutely exquisite. She is a member of the New Jersey All State Choir and has played many different roles. She played Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady last year and stole the show with her effortless singing, acting and magnificent accent. This year she played a complete opposite role as Eve in Children of Eden. She is an elected choir officer, Vice President, and is in charge of all the choir robes, making sure that all students have a robe and are well fitted. Stephanie is extremely dependable and is always willing to lend a helping hand. She is a great helper, leader and has a heart of gold. Stephanie's dedication and talent will allow her to have continued success and a bright future!