MORRISTOWN, NJ - Students from schools based in Morristown, New Vernon, Kinnelon, Chester, Mendham, Madison and Budd Lake recently were honored as January Music Students of the Month -- Outstanding Vocalist at the Mayo Performing Arts Center. The students were recognized for their achievements on stage prior to the Doo Wop 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: (bios provided by school):


Julia Bozza
Grade 8, Frelinghuysen Middle School, Morristown; Nominated by Larry Gonsky
Julia Bozza performs as a soprano in the Frelinghuysen Middle School Select and 8th Grade choirs. In the past 3 years, she has shown incredible growth in her vocal skills. Julia sings with consistently accurate pitch and a tone quality that is rich, beautiful to the ear, and mature. Julia is also a very helpful young woman and often acts as a role model for others in demonstrating vocal musicality and concert etiquette. She has exhibits only the highest level of talent, teamwork and personal integrity in our choral environment.

Abigail Daniels
Grade 8, Harding Township School, New Vernon; Nominated by Rachael Gareau
Since the 5th grade, Abigail has grown into a wonderful performer. She has been in chorus every year and is often a featured soloist. She has been a lead in the school play the past two years- Mabel in Fame, Jr. and Baker's Wife in Into the Woods, Jr. Abby is also a member of the concert band where she plays the flute, and jazz band where she plays the saxophone. She is dedicated to music and loves singing.

Danielle Davis
Grade 12, Kinnelon High School - Nominated by Charles Linnell
Danielle has been a model student and representative of the Kinnelon HS choral program.  She has earned acceptance to county, region, all-state, all-eastern, and national honor choirs. Danielle has served the choir as an officer for several years, serving this year as president.  She has been active in the school musicals, too, performing as Bloody Mary in South Pacific last year.

Jacob Ferguson
Grade 8, Black River Middle School, Chester; Nominated by Kathleen Vespignani
Jacob had been a member of the Black River choruses for the past three years, leading his section as a strong male singer. He has also been an important member of the middle school's Select Chorus, in which he has also been a member for three years. Jacob brings a positive attitude to the choruses, as well as being an exceptional role model in his dedication, enthusiasm and musicality. These traits are also evident in Jacob as a member of the Black River Middle School Symphonic Band. Jacob takes his role as a musician very seriously and is dedicated to many musical ensembles.

Grace Hall
Grade 8, Mountain View Middle School, Mendham; Nominated by William Alzaher
Grace is the Soprano section leader of the auditioned group, Mountain View Singers. She has participated in Jr. Regional Chorus where she scored in the top 10 of her section, the MVMS talent show, and will be auditioning for the musical in December. She loves to sing. Grace has performed solos in the school's concert and is not afraid of being in the spotlight. She encourages other students to try choir and is wonderful in the classroom.

Shaye Herman
Grade 7, The Peck School, New Vernon - Nominated by Andrew T. Lyman
Shaye's musical talent, musical ability, musical aptitude and character make her stand out in the Peck School music department. She is a student that is extremely passionate about music, has an outstanding vocal quality and takes singing extremely seriously. Shaye is a Soprano section leader within the chorus at The Peck School. Shaye also takes private voice lessons at the Paper Mill Playhouse. Shaye is extremely dedicated to the craft of music. Shaye is funny, polite, smart, a risk-taker, hardworking, calm, focused, heartfelt, trustworthy, intelligent, caring and considerate. 

Preston Tolbert
Grade 12, Madison High School, Madison; Nominated by Caryn Elefante
Preston has been a Tenor in the Madison High School chorus and an integral part of the very elite, select Jazz Choir ensemble for four years. Preston is an exquisite singer and has grown so much in the past few years.  Preston adapts to every style of music, ranging from classical works to madrigals to jazz arrangements.  He also is an incredible sight-reader and has perfect pitch which is a special gift.  Preston was selected for the 2013 and 2014 All State Chorus and scored as the 12th best Tenor in the state. At Madison High School, he has performed in Bye Bye Birdie and will appear in this year's production of Les Miserables. He takes direction very well and always has fresh ideas to offer for consideration.  With an innate sense of comic timing and an exemplary work ethic, Preston surely has a fine future as a performer. He possesses a passion for music and theater.

Zachary Weiner
Grade 8, Mount Olive Middle School, Budd Lake; Nominated by Susan Saposnik
In a chorus of 75 students, Zach stands out as someone always prepared and ready to work.  He learns his parts quickly and sings strongly enough to help those around him.  He is always willing to help others and maintains a positive attitude throughout the day.  Zach is an active member of the school drama club performing in school musical productions.

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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.