Arts & Entertainment

Borough Council Honors NJYS Youth Symphony and New Providence Fistball Players

Matt Byrnes (left), Dylan Pizzi, Mayor Al Morgan, Tommy Jankowski and Shane Mahlstadt Credits: Marianne Ivers
Christian Venturella, Karen Deschere and Mayor Al Morgan Credits: Marianne Ivers

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – The Borough Council congratulated the New Jersey Youth Symphony (NJYS) on their First Place Award in the International Youth Music Festival in Vienna at its Monday, August 14 meeting. The council also extended its congratulations to four New Providence High School Seniors for their selection to the United States U18 National Fistball Team. Mayor Al Morgan read the proclamations honoring the two groups at the meeting.

The NJYS Youth Symphony traveled to Austria in July to compete in the Summa Cum Laude International Youth Music Festival. The NJYS Youth Symphony performed alongside 32 ensembles from around the world. It was the only ensemble from New Jersey and one of three ensembles from the United States.

The NJYS Youth Symphony won first place in the orchestral division of the Summa Cum Laude International Youth Music Festival and Competition held in Vienna on July 6, 2017. “While at the festival the symphony not only participated in Summa Cum Laude Festival’s prestigious competition held in the famed Golden Hall of the Musikverein, but also attended interactive orchestral workshops conducted by members of the festival’s orchestra jury at the University of Music in Vienna,” the proclamation read. The Youth Symphony is the most advanced NJYS ensemble. There were three participants from New Providence among the 87 talented young musicians ranging in age from 15 to 18 and representing eight New Jersey counties who played in the Vienna competition.

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The New Jersey Youth Symphony, located in New Providence, “has been providing inspiring experiences to young musicians since 1979.” Karen Deschere, Executive Director of the NJYS, attended the meeting to accept the proclamation with Christian Venturella, a trumpet player from New Providence.

Deschere expressed her excitement regarding the successful festival tour.  Venturella said that it was “a fantastic tour.” We had only five concerts but “it felt like an eternity,” Venturella explained.

The council also congratulated New Providence high school seniors - Shane Mahlstadt, Matt Byrnes, Dylan Pizzi and Tommy Jankowski – for being selected for the European fistball competition as members of the U18 Men’s National Team.

As part of the U18 Men’s National Fistball Team the four New Providence students “competed for the very first time on the world’s stage this July 2017 in Switzerland at the European Fistball Championships,” the proclamation read. They have also received a special invitation from the European Fistball Association to travel to the Swiss Olympic Training Center for additional training.

Mahlstadt explained that the fistball is very similar to volley ball but it is played outside on the grass field.

Morgan said that both the NJYS Youth Symphony and the local fistball team members “make us proud.” It is “amazing” how well rounded our community is, Morgan concluded.

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