Education Spotlight

Randolph High School Well Represented in the North Jersey Region Honors Music Ensembles

Credits: Allison Freeman
Credits: Allison Freeman
Credits: Allison Freeman

RANDOLPH, NJ- Randolph High School had three students who were selected to perform with the 2017 All North Jersey Mixed Chorus at Morris Knolls High School. They were junior Laura Nolan, senior Theresa Pelosi and sophomore Regina Silikovitz.  

Two students performed with the North Jersey Region Wind Ensemble and seven performed with the North Jersey Region Symphonic Band at the region honors band concert at Parsippany Hills High School. RHS clarinetist and senior Laura Sefcik and junior and saxophone player Christopher Mantell will play in the wind ensemble while sophomore bassoonist Hannah DeOliveira,  and seniors

John Yager, a tenor sax player, and Joseph Recchia, a euphonium player, as well as tuba players junior Michael DeMelfi and sophomore David Popkin and percussionists Charles Aulenbach, a junior, and Andre Hance, a sophomore,  will play with the symphonic band.

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“It’s really nice to get to play in a high level ensemble,” Laura Sefcik said.

“Every year it is an honor to represent Randolph,” said Michael DeMelfi, who has been selected for this ensemble in the past.

Charles Aulenbach noted that the experience of playing in such a high-level group will benefit all of the students. “I think we grow as musicians and our maturity level as musicians will improve.”

The RHS students in the North Jersey Region Symphonic Band will see a familiar face when they look up at the conductor. RHS Band Director Dawn Russo has been invited to conduct the North Jersey Region Symphonic Band. “I am honored to get the opportunity to teach and perform with the outstanding young musicians in the Region 1 Symphonic Band,” Mrs. Russo said.

Mrs. Russo has conducted the North Jersey Area Symphonic Band in the past as well as the 9th Grade Jr. Region Band. She has also presented clinics on beginning band at the prestigious Midwest Clinic in Chicago, the MENC (NAfME) Eastern Division Annual Conference, the New Jersey Music Educators Association Annual Conference and local universities.

In Randolph, Mrs. Russo. directs the RHS Wind Ensemble as well as the Marching Rams as well as various small ensembles and facilitates the RHS Winter Guard. In past years, she has directed the RHS Jazz Ensemble, Pit Orchestra and taught at Randolph Middle School, Center Grove School and Fernbrook School. Under her direction, the RHS Marching Rams performed on “The Today Show” on NBC this past fall and the RHS Wind Ensemble performed the Prelude Concert at the December Ridgewood Concert Band Concert.

Mrs. Russo plays the saxophone and has been a clinician for many sectionals and performed in many pit orchestras as well as nationally and internationally with the Ridgewood Concert Band.

She has a bachelor of arts from Western Illinois University and a master’s degree in education from William Paterson University.

In addition, Randolph High School has nine students who successfully auditioned for the North Jersey Region 1 Orchestra, one of whom will also play with the wind ensemble. The students will perform a concert Feb. 19. The location has not yet been set.

Sophomores Yuri Lin, Ginny Lee and Stephen Hu will play violin, freshman Jacqueline Wu, sophomore Catherine DeMario and freshman Olivia Guarinello wil play viola while freshman Josephine Wu and sophomore Monique Bourgeois will play cello and sophomore Paul Ward will play bass. Paul will also play bass 1 in the wind ensemble.

“I am looking forward to this wonderful experience to challenge myself musically and grow as a musician,” Paul said.

Stephen Hu said he expects to also learn a great deal. “I know that I will learn a lot from the other talented students as well as the conductor.”



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