LIVINGSTON, NJ - The music school Do Re Mi of Livingston recently sent two students to compete and place at the Mid-Atlantic Idol.
Nicole Voronko, 13, of Randolph, and Anya Kosachevich, 12, of Parsippany, share much more than a love of sleepovers and One Direction—they also share a love for competitive singing. In fact, both girls have competed and placed in Mid-Atlantic Idol, a competition and festival sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Music Teachers Guild.
Voronko took first place in Musical Theater in 2013 by singing “Worst Pies in London” from "Sweeney Todd," and third place in Pop Music for “Honey Pie” by Barbra Streisand; third place in the Musical Theater category in 2012 by singing “Adelaide’s Lament” from "Guys & Dolls"; and first place in 2011 where she sang, ”I’d Rather be Blue” from "Funny Girl."
Kosachevich took fourth place in Musical Theater in 2011 by singing “Doing What Comes Naturally” from "Annie Get Your Gun," and second place in Classical with “Lascia ch'io pianga,” a soprano aria by composer George Frederic Handel; as well as first place in Classical in 2012 with “Panis Angelicus—Oh Lord My Holy” by Caesar Franck.
“Some people say I perform like Bette Midler because of my actions,” said Voronko. “When I sing, I act. I can’t just sing, I must do something with my hands and face. In 'Worst Pies in London' I kneaded the dough and smashed my fists into the dough when I sang something loud to make the song more meaningful.”
“That’s why she got first place,” joked Marina Goldin, who owns The Do Re Mi School in Livingston.
The girls also have something else in common—they share the same voice teacher Natela Iosebidze, at The Do Re Mi School. Both have singing career aspirations and hope to one day audition for "The X Factor." Voronko hopes to attend Votech School in Morris County to focus on theater starting in ninth grade, while Kosachevich hopes to attend high school at the Performing Arts School in New York.
The girls take one singing lesson a week and practice all week at home. They love what they are doing, and, according to the girls’ parents, practice is never an issue.
“Natela Iosebidze gives us songs she thinks are right for us,” said Kosachevich.
“She studies current music in order to give her students music they can connect with,” commented Goldin.
“I like how she tells me how to sing something with her voice so I can hear it and get it right,” said Voronko.
Voronko, who started singing at the age of four, has been singing in chorus at school since fourth grade. She has also sung at judged school talent shows and plays. Kosachevich’s story is very similar. They both also perform at The Do-Re-Mi music school‘s end-of-year recitals. Last year’s recital was held at the Livingston Public Library.
“Singing is like talking to me,” said Voronko. “I love to talk, but I really love to sing and listen to music. I always have a song in my head. Singing is how I express myself and it is there for me when nothing else is.”
“I love to dance, but feel I will be able to do more with my singing in my life,” said Kosachevich, who is also a ballerina.
“Both girls are really talented in different ways,” said Goldin. “Their artistry is so alive and engaging—it is so much fun to see them perform. Their ability, training and movement are so natural—they sound great to me.”
"I am so proud of Anya because in my opinion she has perfect pitch and her intonation is really great in many types of songs,” said Olga Kosachevich, Anya’s mom. “She is a hardworking girl with a bright future.”
“I am so happy that Nicole gets to do what she likes,” said Luba Gordeeva, Nicole’s mom.
Both girls also play instruments, with Voronko playing the piano at Do Re Mi and Kosachevich playing the guitar.
The girls also have separate interests. Voronko likes to sew and has made shoes and clothing in her spare time. She also enjoys making Rainbow Loom bracelets, keeps a journal, and enjoys writing poems, especially Haikus and ones that rhyme. In addition, Voronko also likes to dance, act and do Krav Maga, which she also does at Do Re Mi.
“I like to sing when I sew,” said Voronko. “And, I am also very organized, and I love animals, especially my hamster Chip.”
Kosachevich enjoys decorating, doing classical ballet at the New Jersey School of Ballet, dancing at her Ukrainian summer camp and doing Ukrainian Folk Dancing.
The girls may compete, but they always wish the best for one another.
“Anya is my best friend,” said Voronko. “When I was competing and she wasn’t, she came to watch me compete and support me.”
“Nicole puts life into everything,” said Kosachevich. “She makes everything more exciting and is so much fun to be around. Most friends our age sit around and text and discuss Facebook statuses, but we like to build forts, sing duets and try to write songs together.”
In 2014, Voronko plans to compete in Mid Atlantic Idol once again, while Kosachevich hopes to compete in The Voice (kid’s edition).
ABOUT THE DO RE MI SCHOOL
The Do-Re-Mi School has been serving Livingston and the surrounding areas for 12 years. The school offers lessons in singing, piano, guitar, violin, saxophone, flute and clarinet, for all ages and levels, as well as classes in music and movement for young children. The school’s private music instruction is complemented by group singing classes and music theory lessons. The school also offers Little Ballerinas and Young Dancers lessons, Broadway Dancing and Acting, and Latin Ballroom, as well as art classes, chess lessons, math enrichment classes and private tutoring, Russian lessons and a Russian Theater program. Their newest additions include Krav Maga (Israeli Self-Defense and Fitness) classes for all ages.