WARREN TWP. – Twenty-Nine students were inducted into the 2017 local chapter of the Tri-M Music Honor Society on Thursday, April 20, at Watchung Hills Regional High School (WHRHS).
Students from among this year’s inductees who were voted to the Executive Board are: Co-Presidents Andrew Morrison and Jordon Reynolds, Vice President Ethan Marmolejos, Secretary Hannah Melillo, Treasurer Emillie Ricciardi, and Historian Allison Horvath.
Other inductees this year are: Kyra Anthony, Christopher Barry, Nikhil Bhat, Jeremy Cui, Calvan Davis, Anchal Dhir, Taylor Hestvik, Jack Horan, Justin Horowitz, Francesca Infante-Meehan, Timothe Iroudayassamy, William Johnson, Kira Leinwand, Craig Mandelbaum, Emma Marszalek, Carl Peterson, Diana Sarrico, Lindsey Shi, Sam Sinnott, Anthony Speros, Amelia Stapperfenne, Sanjay Subramanian, and Mariella Zijdel.
Faculty Advisor is WHRHS Choral Music Director Angela DiIorio Bird.
The guest speaker at the induction ceremony was Frank Troykaof Texas, a lifelong music teacher and director of bands at the junior high school, high school and national levels. He retired in 1984 and has been a clinician for the Wind Bands Association of Singapore, The Midwest Clinic and an active lecturer and clinician, presenting annual student leadership workshops in Texas and across the nation.
At the induction ceremony, Troyka spoke about his experiences as an ambassador, both nationally and overseas, advocating the importance of music education in schools and in society. He shared photographs from his travels in various areas of the world, including in The Philippines, Australia, India, the Mid-East and Africa. He brought back stories both of the fascinating ways even poor countries find ways to create elementary handmade instruments to teach music, as well as how so many countries are in awe of American Educational systems that appreciate and accentuate the importance of music education for its own sake, as well as for positive benefits to strengthenstudent learning in other subjects.
Troyka’s presentation at the induction was the conclusion of a day spent at WHRHS, speaking with students in classes and after classes on the broad array of music and music education subjects.
“Mr. Troyka provided a great deal of insight with regard to motivation and leadership,” said DiOrio Bird. “He also stressed the importance of the need for the performing arts in public schools. Music is, for many, an outlet, a safe place, and a home for students.”
Opening the induction ceremony was a quintet of members – a quartet of saxophones and a drummer – performing five songs in jazz style: “Jupiter,” part of the seven-movement piece, “The Planets Suite,” by Gustav Holst; “Fly Me to the Moon,” by Bart Howard, made famous by several artists including Count Bassieand Frank Sinatra, among others; “Take the ‘A’ Train,” by Billy Strayhorn, made famous by Duke Ellington, among others; and “Take Five,” by Paul Desmond, the signature song of Dave Brubeck. Performing in the quintet were: Andrew Morrison on Soprano Sax, Sanjay Subramanian on Tenor Sax, TimotheIroudayassamy on Baritone Sax, Emilie Ricciardi on Alto Sax, and Calvan Davis on drums.