Brooklawn Student is Musician of the Month

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James Alfaro (Mount Olive HS), Daniel Bianchini (Randolph HS), Andrew Choffo (Brooklawn MS), Jane Kurek (Provident Bank Foundation), Zachary Davis (Mountain View MS), Emily Miller (Mount Arlington School), Dawn Sy (Richard Butler MS), Matthew Wisotsky (Mendham Township MS).

PARSIPPANY — Students from schools based in Parsippany, Mt. Olive, Randolph,  Mendham, Mt. Arlington, Boonton, Brookside and Butler were honored as Mayo Performing Arts Center October Music Students of the Month – Outstanding Band Member — prior to the Wednesday, October 22 performance by Preservation Hall Jazz Band.

The students were recognized for their achievements on stage prior to the concert.

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.

The 2014-2015 Music Student of the Month program is sponsored by The Provident Bank Foundation.

Music students of the Month are:

Andrew Choffo
Grade 8, Brooklawn Middle School, Parsippany; Nominated by Joseph A. Stella

Andrew is one the most talented members of this year’s Brooklawn M.S. 8th grade band. In addition to playing with the concert band, Andrew has already expressed an early interest in playing the drum set in the jazz band and pit orchestra. In the past, he has also accompanied the school choir and has helped out by playing additional percussion parts whenever needed for concerts. He is always willing to do whatever he can above and beyond the standard musical responsibilities of being in band. He often attends live concerts outside of school which enhances his musicianship by giving him live exposure to some of music’s greats.

James Alfaro
Grade 12, Mount Olive High School, Flanders; Nominated by John Di Egidio

James plays the bass trombone and is one of the most dedicated, hardworking students in the music department. His hard work has paid off huge dividends, being accepted and performing in the North Jersey Region Band, All-State Band, All-State Orchestra and All-Eastern Band. James is a member of every top instrumental ensemble at Mount Olive High School and additionally participates in the top choir.

Daniel Bianchini
Grade 11, Randolph High School, Randolph; Nominated by David Imhof

Daniel is a junior percussionist in the Randolph High School band program. He consistently comes to rehearsals prepared and works to play as a member of the ensemble rather than as an individual. Dan already plays at a fairly high level, but always readily accepts feedback and works hard to do whatever is asked of him right away. As a percussionist, he also takes care to make sure all of the equipment that is needed for each rehearsal is available before rehearsals start and put away at the conclusion.

Zachary Davis
Grade 8, Mountain View Middle School, Mendham; Nominated by Leigh Carpenter

Zach has played drums since the 5th grade. Normally, band starts at Mountain View MS in 4th grade, but due to budget cuts, the 4th Grade Band was eliminated. Despite this fact, Zachary has worked hard and risen to a high level of musicianship in an even shorter amount of time. In addition to Zach’s talent, his enthusiasm and drive are what make him an exemplary musician.

Emily Miller
Grade 8, Mount Arlington School, Mount Arlington; Nominated by Dr. Michael Aberback

Emily plays percussion and has participated in the band program for four years. She is a talented and extremely dedicated music student. As a member of the Concert Band and Percussion Ensemble, in addition to two choral ensembles, Emily attends extracurricular before- school rehearsals five days a week. In addition to playing percussion and singing, Emily has also studied piano for seven years. Emily is strong in many areas of percussion but excels particularly as a mallet percussionist. This school year she will be featured as the solo xylophonist in a challenging percussion ensemble arrangement of Khachuturian’s Sabre Dance.

Emma Sagerer
Grade 8, John Hill School, Boonton; Nominated by Yvonne Manca

Emma is an extremely talented and energetic band student. She has been playing the flute since fourth grade and has excelled at all levels. Her hard work and dedication make her the best flute player in school. In addition to playing flute, she has been playing the piano from the time she was a toddler. Emma has also performed many solos and has been a guest piano player in school concerts.

Dawn Sy
Grade 8, Richard Butler Middle School, Butler; Nominated by Lyn M. Lowndes

Dawn plays the flute in Concert Band and taught herself Alto Saxophone for Jazz Band. She has been a member of the Richard Butler Middle School Band program for the last four years, and the Jazz Band for the last two. Dawn is a leader in the band program. She helps other students by showing them how to play notes and rhythms. Outside of school, Dawn takes dance lessons, plays guitar, video games and practices her flute and sax. She participated in the Butler High School Musical “The Little Mermaid” last year as well.

Matthew Wisotsky
Grade 8, Mendham Township Middle School, Brookside; Nominated by Russell Branch

Matthew Wisotsky is an 8th grade bassoonist who has demonstrated and achieved a superior level of musicianship. Matthew has taken private lessons on the bassoon for 4 years, has earned 1st chair in Jr. High Regions as a 7th grader. He attended a two week session at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp this past summer on scholarship and placed himself into the top orchestra as principle bassoon competing against 8th and 9th graders from some of the best programs throughout the mid-west. Matthew is also an outstandingly accomplished young piano player and is currently studying composition with David Sampson.

Mayo Performing Arts Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, presents a wide range of programs that entertain, enrich, and educate the diverse population of the region and enhance the economic vitality of Northern New Jersey. The 2014-2015 season is made possible, in part, by a grant the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as support received from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, F.M. Kirby Foundation and numerous corporations, foundations and individuals. The Mayo Performing Arts Center has been designated a Major Presenting Organization by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

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