Wharton Music Center (WMC) held its annual Margaret Gillen Memorial Scholarship Vocal Competition on Monday, February 25 at its performance space in Berkeley Heights. The first prize winner from the Senior Division was Catie Hodic. Ms. Hodic sang “With You” from Ghost the Musical and “I Have Nothing”. Olivia Torsiello who sang “Breakaway” and “Put Your Records On” placed first in the Junior Division. Runners up from the Senior Division were Elizabeth Hendy who won second place and Oona Quinn and Grace Kenney who both tied for Audience Choice. Junior Division runners up were Aashni Sawhney who won second place and Simran Sawhney who won the Audience Choice award.
All vocal winners received Margaret Gillen Memorial Scholarships made possible by Diane Lynch in memory of her mother. Student vocalists sang songs from various genres of music such as Musical Theatre, Contemporary, Pop, Jazz, R & B, Country, and Opera.
WMC’s Musical Theatre Director Angela Beaton and Musical Theater Administrative Coordinator Christopher Wright hosted the event. Award-winning Broadway composer, conductor, and performer Keith Herrmann judged the contestants. Berkeley Height’s local bakery Bake You Crazy provided delectable desserts for the reception. The performances made for an entertaining and charming evening.
Wharton Music Center, located at 60 Locust Avenue in Berkeley Heights, provides music, theater, and dance instruction, educational programs, and performances for children, teens, and adults. In addition to instruction in all instruments and voice, WMC offers classes in musical theater, dance, drama, choral music, vocal music, music theory, audio recording, early childhood music, and music for children with special needs. Offering a range of musical genres including classical, rock, jazz, and blues, WMC is one of New Jersey’s largest independent non-profit community music centers serving students in Berkeley Heights, Summit, Chatham, New Providence, Long Hill, Warren, Basking Ridge, Short Hills, Millburn, Livingston, Westfield, Scotch Plains, and other surrounding communities.
WMC offers orchestral and ensemble music education for grades 3 through 12 through New Jersey Youth Symphony (NJYS) located at 570 Central Avenue in New Providence. NJYS, one of the foremost youth orchestras in the state, has ten orchestras and ensembles for which auditions are held annually. NJYS’s premiere orchestra, Youth Symphony, has performed in internationally-renowned concert halls such as Carnegie Hall in New York City and Musikverein in Vienna.
For more information, visit www.WhartonMusicCenter.org or www.NJYS.org. Wharton Music Center is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.
Carol A. Ulmer
Director of Development and Marketing
Wharton Music Center