Morris County News

Randolph Student String Musician Among Those Honored as MPAC Music Students of the Month

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Credits: MPAC
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Morristown, NJ - Musicians from Randolph as well as Mendham, Chatham, East Hanover, Madison, and Morristown were honored as Mayo Performing Arts Center's Music Students of the Month prior to the Thursday, October 26 performance by Jake Shimabukuro.

The students were recognized for their achievements on stage prior to the concert and had the opportunity to  meet Jake Shimabukuro.

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.

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The 2017-2018 Music Student of the Month program is supported by The Walter F. and Alice Gorham Foundation, Inc.

Priscilla Peters
Grade 9, Randolph High School, Randolph; Nominated by Eric Schaberg
Priscilla auditioned last year and was a member of the Jr. Region Orchestra and has successfully auditioned for the Advanced String Ensemble at Randolph High School called Arietta. She placed first in the audition which has the strongest field of talent that Randolph has had over the past twenty years. She is a wonderful example to all of the students how to be a team player and make things better for those around you rather than only focusing on yourself. She is a wonderful young string player.


Music Students of the Month are: (bios provided by school)

Jessica Bach
Grade 12, West Morris Mendham High School, Mendham; Nominated by Mary Daly
Jessica is a talented musician, role model, and leader who excels in every endeavor she participates in. She is a dedicated violinist, vocalist, and marching band color guard captain and drum major. Since Jessica's freshman year, she has participated in the Select Strings Honors Ensemble, a string group highlighted in various school and community venues. As a sophomore and junior Jessica was accepted into NJSMA (Region 1) High School Honors Orchestra groups. In addition, Jessica loves to keep busy in various community music organizations such as Harmonium Choral Society and New Sussex Symphony. Jessica has proven she is a committed individual in all aspects of her musical and scholastic endeavors.



Jack Foley
Grade 8, Chatham Middle School, Chatham; Nominated by Suzanne Bass
Jack is an outstanding and very important member of our 8th grade orchestra. In addition to viola, Jack plays piano and has arranged a piece for string orchestra. Jack consistently goes above and beyond, volunteering his time and talents to perform in extracurricular school ensembles that play in the Chatham area. He has performed for senior citizens as well as for young string students in the elementary schools. He is a fine example of a dedicated and conscientious string orchestra student.

Madeleine Sellinger
Grade 10, Hanover Park High School, East Hanover; Nominated by Helen Britez
Maddy is a sweet sophomore in String Ensemble. She plays well, and exemplifies good character and well-roundedness. She contributes to the positive culture of our classrooms and school community with her cheerful demeanor, positive attitude, and high moral character. Even as a freshman, Maddy was a leader in our humble strings program. She works from bell-to-bell and spends much of the period helping her classmates with various technical and musical concerns. I can always count on her to lead the class, or assist with logistical concerns. Maddy is well deserving of this honor.

George Panagos
Grade 7, Madison Junior School, Madison; Nominated by Kathleen McCormick
George without fail is always prepared for his lessons, arrives on time, and gives his best during our orchestra rehearsals. George has an excellent ear and if he is unable to read the notes and rhythms initially, he quickly learns to play after hearing the piece a couple of times. Just recently he was able to progress through a third of his lesson book in a single lesson. George is off to a great start this year and has shown such dedication to his instrument.


Ameya Phadnis
Grade 12, Chatham High School, Chatham; Nominated by Krystle Graser
Ameya has been such a valued member of the Chatham High School Music Department. He has been an active member of our Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, Honors Chamber Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble, and Pit Orchestra. He has also volunteered his time on many occasions for our community playing events. As he looks to further his contributions by becoming a member of our newly created Tri-M Music Honor Society chapter, and as he has been such a positive role model for our younger string players over the years, Ameya is most deserving of being recognized as Mayo Performing Arts Center's Outstanding String Player.

Jada Sefah,
Grade 11, Morristown High School, Morristown; Nominated by Norma Davis
Jada is an excellent musician at Morristown High School. As a member of the MHS Orchestra for the past three years, Jada has performed numerous concerts on the double bass. She has served as section leader for the past two years, and she is responsible and reliable in this capacity. During rehearsals, Jada is focused and intent on the details, always striving to bring depth to the sound of the orchestra and intensity to the music. In addition to the MHS Orchestra, Jada is also a member of the select Chamber Orchestra. She has performed with this group at many events at school and throughout the community. Jada has also performed in the pit orchestra for the school musical, with the jazz band, and with the marching band. She is committed to her musical endeavors and is a role model to her peers. Jada brings energy, discernment, and artistic integrity to her performances.

Alexa Sheldon,
Grade 8, Chatham Middle School, Chatham; Nominated by Suzanne Bass
Alexa is a strong cellist who has been extremely capable of leading our 8th grade orchestra cello section. Alexa is also a member of NJYS and volunteers to perform in extracurricular school performances throughout our Chatham school district. Alexa is a serious student who is always willing to help other cello students during our orchestra rehearsals.

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 2017-2018 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 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. Mayo Performing Arts Center was named 2016 Outstanding Historic Theatre by the League of Historic American Theatres, and is ranked in the top 50 mid-sized performing arts centers by Pollstar Magazine.

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