Arts & Entertainment

Press Releases

Junior Musical Club to Present its Annual Graduation Recital on June 6

Daniel Shenker, sax; Marisa Li, cello; Victoria Tian, flute; Mira Yang, viola; Divya Narayanan, flutist; Samantha Sprechman, soprano; Ethan Marmolejos, tuba; to perform June 6, 7:30 pm in Westfield Credits: Gerald A Shea

The Junior Musical Club of Westfield will hold its annual Graduation Recital at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 6, at the First Baptist Church, 170 Elm St., Westfield. The concert is open to the public free of charge. The recital celebrates high school seniors in the club about to leave for college. The seniors performing are:

Violinist Suraj Chandran, the Wardlaw-Hartridge School, will present J. S. Bach's Violin Sonata, No. 1, BWV 1001, Movements 1. Adagio, 2. Fugue, and 4. Presto. He has studied violin under Ms. Debra Biderman. At Wardlaw-Hartridge, his teachers were Mr. Rick Fontaine, band, and Mrs. Sharon Byrne, choir. Suraj plays violin for the Greater Newark Academy Orchestra. He plays alto saxophone in the Wardlaw-Hartridge band and has formed his own saxophone jazz quartet. He will be attending the University of Pennsylvania.

Cellist Marisa Li, Westfield High School, will perform Gabriel Fauré's Élégie, Op.24, accompanied by Beverly Shea, and Marisa will join Victoria Tian, piano, to play Camille Saint-Saëns' "The Swan" from The Carnival of the Animals. She has studied with Leo Wang, and also with Craig Stanton of Westfield High School and has been President of the Westfield High School Orchestras.

Sign Up for E-News

Marisa has played with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra's Academy Orchestra, the Westfield High School Chamber Orchestra, and the Music from China Youth Orchestra, including a performance at Carnegie Hall.

Ms. Li was invited to the 2018 Conference on National Affairs and received a PSAT Commendation. She will attend Bentley University, Waltham MA, majoring in Computer Information Systems and Economics-Finance

Tuba player Ethan Marmolejos, Watchung Hills Regional High School, will perform Walter S. Hartley's Suite for Unaccompanied Tuba, movements 1. Intrada, 2. Valse, 3. Air, and 4. Galop. He will be joined by Suraj Chandran, violin, to play P. D. Q. Bach's The Only Piece Ever Written for Violin and Tuba. He currently studies with Joseph Eggebeen of Bedminster.

During Ethan's high school career, he has participated in the Central Jersey Regional and the New Jersey All-State Music Educators Association ensembles and the National Association for Music Education All-Eastern ensemble, along with the New Jersey Youth Symphony. He is also a recipient of the 2018 Governor's Award in Arts Education. Ethan will be attending Carnegie Mellon University in the fall with a major in music performance.

Flutist Divya Narayanan, the Union County Academy for Allied Health Sciences, will join pianist Mira Yang to play Debussy's The Girl with the Flaxen Hair. She has played flute for nine years and has studied with Mrs. Chia Hsiu Wang for three. For seven years, she has been a member of the New Jersey Youth Symphony. She successfully completed Levels 5 through 10 of the Royal Conservatory Music Development Program and is a two-time National Gold Medal Winner.

Outside of music, she is an active member of the Health Occupation Students of America, a national competition participant three times and a 2015 National Medalist. She is a certified Emergency Medical Technician volunteer in the Cranford Rescue Squad.

She will attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, studying music and neuroscience.

Pianist and alto saxophone player Daniel Shenker, Westfield High School, will be performing J. S. Bach's Prelude and Fugue, No. 12: Prelude in F minor and Chopin's Mazurka Op. 67, No. 4 on piano and Benjamin Britten's Six Metamorphoses after Ovid, Mvt. 1 (Pan). He thanks his teachers, Elena Bartolf, Larry Garges, Christopher Vitale, and Trevor Sindorf.

On the alto saxophone, he played in the Westfield High School Wind Ensemble, Jazz I, and the Marching Band; he was a Westfield High School Concerto Competition Winner, and was selected for the 2016-2017 Region II Band. Dan will be attending Johns Hopkins University, majoring in Applied Mathematics.

Soprano Samantha Sprechman, Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School, will sing “Many Moons Ago” (from Once Upon a Mattress), “For Good” (from Wicked), and “Il Bianco e Dolce Cigno,” a sixteenth century madrigal.

She has studied with voice teachers Jan Allen, Deborah Eberts and Sarah Blood. She was chosen as vocalist for the Moonglowers, the award winning high school jazz band.

In high school, she sang as an ensemble member in Grease and in The Mystery of Edwin Drood, as Ms. Merkle in Bye Bye Birdie, and as the Minstrel in Once Upon a Mattress. In private productions, she was Miss Hannigan in Annie, and a member of the octet in Babes in Arms. Samantha will be attending Temple University in the fall with a major in biochemistry.

Flutist Victoria Tian, the Union County Academy for Allied Health Sciences, will play Camille Saint-Saëns' Romance, Op. 37 on the flute accompanied by Beverly Shea, piano; Victoria will play piano for Saint-Saëns' "The Swan" from The Carnival of the Animals with Marisa Li, cello.

Ms. Tian studied piano under Mr. Frank Tedeschi and flute under Mrs. Flora Pollack and has been a member of the New Jersey Youth Symphony's Flute Forum ensemble and Fortissimo Flutes ensemble, as well as the flutist for the Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School Moonglowers, a jazz band that garnered first place in the state. Victoria received first class honors with distinction and the highest score in the tri-state area on the Level 7 Royal Conservatory of Music Flute Exam.

Outside of music, Ms. Tian was a Health Occupations Students of America medalist, National Merit Finalist, an AXA Achievement Scholarship winner and a 2017 New Jersey Scholar. She will be attending Cornell University, majoring in Global and Public Health Sciences.

Violist and pianist Mira Yang, the Union County Magnet High School, will play Rachmaninoff’s Etude-Tableux #7 in G minor on piano and will join Divya Narayanan, flute, to present Claude Debussy’s The Girl with the Flaxen Hair.

Ms. Yang studied piano under Ms. Sondra Tammam and viola under Mr. Brennan Sweet and has been a member of the New Jersey Regional and All State Ensembles. Mira has performed in Carnegie Hall eight times and received a Diploma in Social Music from the National Piano Guild.

Outside of music, Ms. Yang was a Google Code-in Grand Prize Winner, Science Olympiad medal winner, writing award recipient, and the winner of community service scholarships. She will be enrolled in Northwestern University and Feinberg School of Medicine’s Honors Program in Medical Education to achieve her M. D. degree in seven years.

The concert will be followed by a reception to greet the artists, to congratulate them on their success in high school, and to offer every good wish as they start their university years.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

New Providence

Moms Helping Moms Foundation Receives Overwhelming Support from Community to Help Mothers this Mother’s Day

June 20, 2018

Mother’s Day is often celebrated by showering the women in our lives with beautiful flowers, heartfelt cards, and taking them on special outings to show them how much they mean to us. Yet, for many low-income mothers living in our community, they struggle each day to provide the basics for their babies.

Diapers are a necessity yet one in three families in the United States lack an ...

New Providence Recreation Offers Adult Summer Programs

New Providence Recreation is accepting registrations for adult evening and daytime programs that run June 25th – August 31st.  Most of the eight to nine-week sessions are under $65; several programs are free for NP residents!  All levels of fitness and those returning to exercise are welcome.

Programs are offered starting at 6 a.m.. If you are seeking weight loss, core body ...

Summit Community Blood Drive is Sunday; First 50 donors Will Get a Free Union Theater Movie Pass

The weather may have just started to warm up, but New Jersey Blood Services (NJBS) is already urging the public to donate blood as we head into the summer months.  With schools closing and vacations scheduled, less people donate blood from June through August but transfusions are still needed for local patients.   

“We’re especially thankful to our dedicated donors ...

Watchung Borough Mayor and Council Approve Affordable Housing Settlement

June 9, 2018

WATCHUNG, NJ -The Watchung Borough Council voted on Thursday night  to settle its third round affordable housing obligation mandated by the state of New Jersey. Watchung Borough’s immunity from builder's remedy lawsuits  expires on June 30.

 Mayor Stephen Pote was forced to cast the deciding vote after the council deadlocked at 3-3.

Video: Union County Celebrates Pride Month with CommUNITY PRIDE Day Picnic

June 19, 2018

RAHWAY, NJ - Parents, children, friends, and all family members came out on Saturday afternoon to Rahway River Park for the Union County CommUNITY PRIDE Day Picnic.

The family-friendly celebration hosted by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, was a day of fun activities of arts and crafts, family lawn games, inflatable bounce houses, playground fun and more, along with music by the ...

Scotch Plains Mayor Al Smith Attends Gun Safety Bills Signing Ceremony with Gov. Murphy in Trenton

June 14, 2018

TRENTON, NJ -- Mayor Al Smith attended a gun safety package bill signing ceremony at the Richard J. Hughes Justice Complex in Trenton on Wednesday with Governor Phil Murphy. Mayor Smith joined a bipartisan group of local and state elected officials, as well as members of Moms Demand Action of Union County, at the event. 

“As a leader in Sandy Hook Promise, I was happy to accept the ...

Sleep out at Covenant House

June 18, 2018

I can enjoy the same movies over and over like it were the first time to see them.  My kids roll their eyes at this.  Well, many unimaginable things happen as you become a certain age, and you tend to learn to accept those things graciously as gift.   But I remember the movie “The Blind Side.”  Until I saw that movie, I didn’t know homeless children ...

Upcoming Events


Thu, June 21, 7:00 AM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Pet Supply Drive at the Summit YMCA to Benefit ...

Giving Back


Thu, June 21, 9:30 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Pilates Reformer

Health & Wellness


Fri, June 22, 7:00 AM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Pet Supply Drive at the Summit YMCA to Benefit ...

Giving Back


Fri, June 22, 6:30 PM

Providence Health & Fitness, New Providence

Vinyasa Flow Yoga


Sat, June 23, 7:00 AM

Summit YMCA, Summit

Pet Supply Drive at the Summit YMCA to Benefit ...

Giving Back

What's Hot and What's Not

Summer is a great time to take a step back, sip a cool beverage, and take a look at what’s going on in the world of college admissions.  Departments use the summer to evaluate how their year went and plan on any changes they want to make for the fall.  Did they over-enroll? Under-enroll?  What application materials were useful to them?  Which were redundant or time ...