SPOTSWOOD, NJ - The Spotswood High School Music Department held their annual banquet on Thursday, May 18 to honor the musical contributions of students participating in the school's diverse music program . Spotswood High School Band Director Sarah Carino-Koza served as emcee for the evening as Chargers were awarded for their numerous musical contributions throughout the school year. Students have several options within the music program that include Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, Pep Band and Percussion Ensemble. Percussion Ensemble is a new addition to the award-winning music program this year. Students must audition to be a part of the Wind Ensemble and the Jazz Band. Musicians involved in the Pep and Jazz Band practice in the evenings after school with many students coming to rehearsal from athletic practices, games and play rehearsals. The Concert Band, Wind Ensemble and Jazz Band all received top honors at the Cleveland Festivals of Music with the Wind Ensemble being voted best band.

"You guys are my dream team," Carino-Koza said of her students. "You work diligently and care about our shared mission of bringing the gift of music into the lives of your audiences. You give of yourself in rehearsal every day. Thank you for pushing to do better than you were yesterday; ever aiming toward an even more successful tomorrow."

Carino-Koza also had encouraging words for the soon-to-be graduating seniors. The veteran band director talked about how the large group of seniors left their mark on the music program, "setting the bar high" for the underclassmen. She also had inspirational words as the group moves on to the next chapter in their lives. Many of the teens will be pursuing their music at the collegiate level.

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Before the evening concluded, the departing seniors had heartfelt words for their musical director as well. Many of the students spoke about how Carino-Koza had influenced their musical tastes all while developing and nurturing their musical talents. Perhaps the most poignant moment came when percussionist Brianna Acevedo thanked Carino-Koza for never closing doors to her as others had in her life. The pair shared a hug before other students took a moment to express their gratitude to Carino-Koza for the positive impact the teacher/musician had instilled upon them during their time at Spotswood High School.

The following students were honored with individual awards:

Most Promising Freshman
Gabriela Zeron
Kaitlyn Ciak

Most Promising Sophomore
Megan McCook
Nicholas Komosinski
Rachel Lee

Most Promising Junior
Sam Koniuszewski
Matthew Chludzinski

Most Promising Senior
Aaron Roy

Freshman Unsung Hero
Miranda Wells

Sophomore Unsung Hero
Emily Michaels

Junior Unsung Hero
Kaitlin Dwyer

Senior Unsung Hero
Samantha Swiderski

Most Improved Freshman
Jenna Citro

Robert Kwiatowski

Most Improved Sophomore
Emily Mosquera
Samatha Wasserman

Most Improved Junior
Krista VanWageninge
Sarah Marotta

Most Improved Senior
Nicholas Toth
Andrew Buiko

Outstanding Freshman
Kiki Neves
Steven Karczewski

Outstanding Sophomore
Jeremy Lalicon
Ami Coraggio

Outstanding Junior
Solomon Tyson
Thomas Newton
Jeanne Parrilla
Adi Zacks

Outstanding Senior
Brianna Acevedo

Pep Band Achievement Award
Dan Pinnella

Excellence in Jazz Award
Sean Wesen

Stephen Gardner

Maestro Award
Devin Ryan

Students also received certificates for their participation in each of the following bands. First year Pep Band members received a varsity letter while second, third and fourth year Pep Band musicians received a pin.

The following Spotswood High School students received certificates of achievement for their participation in Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, Jazz and Pep Bands. Several students perform in two or more bands throughout the school year.

Jazz Band 
Anthony Bonacci, Matt Chludzinski, Kaitlyn Ciak, Ron Contard, Kevin Ehresman, Andrew Faulkenberry, Stephen Gardner, Melanie Miller, Ryan Miller, Jeanne Parrilla, Dan Pinnella, Michale Pinella, Aaron Roy, Devin Ryan, Justin Thompson, Solomon Tyson. Krist VanEageninge, Sean Wesen and Dylan Whitfield.

Pep Band: Kaitlyn Ciak, Michael Ciacco, Jenna Citro, Ami Coraggio, Sheliza Dollete, Emily Collins Ron Contard, Jeremy Lalicon, Megan McCook, Emily Michaels, Melanie Miller, Ryan Miller, Devin Ryan, Owen Sullivan, Sam Swiderski, Solomon Tyson, Krista VanWageninge, Matt Chludzinski, Dan Pinnella, Sean Wesen, Adi Zacks, Brianna Acevedo, Anthony Bonacci, Andrew Buiko, Kevin Ehresman, Andrew Faulkenberry, Mike Pinnella and Katie Rivera

Wind Ensemble: Brianna Acevedo, Marin Bohinski, Anthony Bonacci, Andrew Buiko, Matt Chludzinski, Emily Collins, Kaitlyn Dwyer, Kevin Ehresman, Andrew Faulkenberry, Stephen Gardner, Rachel Lee, Sarah Marotta, Octavia Mastroianni, Megan McCook, Emily Michaels, Melanie Miller, Thomas Newton, Jeanne Parrilla, Michael Pinnella, Maia Revilla, Katie Rivera, Aaron Roy, Devin Ryan, Owen Sullivan, Samantha Swiderski, Justin Thompson, Nicholas Toth, Solomon Tyson, Samantha Wasserman, Dylan Whitfield and Adi Zacks
Concert Band: Brianna Acevedo, Anthony Bonacci, Samantha Chan, Michael Ciaccio, Kaitlyn Ciak, Jenna Citro, Ron Contard, Ami Coraggio, Gabrielle Dellaglio, Sheliza Dollete, Kaysi Fajardo, Andrew Faulkenberry, Joseph Fucci, Allie Gardner, Marina Girgis, Mirit Girgis, Joseph Harold, Alex Hartman, Steven Karczewski, Francis Kolbasowski, Sam Koniuszewski, Nicholas Komosinski, Robert Kwiatkowski, Jeremy Lalicon, Joseph Mazzella, Megan McCook, Ryan Miller, Emily Mosquera, Kiki Neves, Isabella Patrone-Black, Dan Pinnella, Mike Pinnella, Aaron Roy, Devin Ryan, Cory Shishani, Owen Sullivan, Samantha Swiderski, Dominic Tripaldi, Solomon Tyson, Krista VanWageninge, Jonathan Wasserman, Miranda Wells, Dylan Whitfield, Adi Zacks and Gabriela Zeron

The Pep Band will be a featured participant in Spotswood's annual Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 29.