WEST ORANGE, NJ - On May 22, the Nikhil Badlani Foundation held its Third Annual Musical Celebration and Tribute to Nikhil at Liberty Middle School. The anticipated event featured performances from West Orange music students in the middle schools and high school, as well as performances by their instructors.
WOHS Freshmen Emcees Divya Anand and Bryce Millington kept the audience engaged with their lively banter throughout the concert. The first performance was by the late Nikhil Badlani’s brother, Anay, as he played “Water Colors” on the piano. Afterwards, Nikhil's mother, Sangeeta Badlani, welcomed guests and congratulated the organization on its efforts, especially its efforts to improve teen driving safety. The foundation has worked with the high schools in West Orange, Nutley, and Bloomfield. She also thanked the students and musical instructors that participate in Nikhil Badlani Foundation musical programs, on both an instrumental and vocal level.
The concert continued with a series of duets, trios, and performances, beginning with West Orange High School. These performances included three flute songs accompanied by a bassoon, a trombone and tuba duet of the Super Mario Bros. theme, and a vocal performance of Colors of the Wind from Pocahontas. There were also three jazz selections played by the Saxophone sections (including Alto, Tenor, and Baritone Saxophones). One song, What’s New, showcased the talent of WOHS senior Kim Tena, as she played her tenor sax.
Edison Middle school then performed their pieces, including Heart and Soul, Let It Go from “Frozen,” Roar by Katy Perry, and several Beethoven songs. Students also performed a dance from “Ladies vs. Ricky Ball,” a Bollywood musical.
A full ensemble of students from the Nikhil program then showcased their talents in a preview of their upcoming performance at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, followed by a moving full ensemble performance of "Earth Song" by Micheal Jackson.
WOHS Junior Fayola Abdon, who performed while playing her tenor saxophone, says that the program is beneficial in that it allows students to follow their dreams and express themselves through music.
The Nikhil Badlani Foundation will continue its philanthropic mission at the West Orange High School Scholarship Awards event on May 29.