Education Spotlight

Students from Randolph Named February MPAC Music Students of the Month, Meet Chris Botti Feb 17

Credits: Mayo

MORRISTOWN, NJ- RHS sophomore Zach Freiheiter and RMS right grader Maddy Burger were named Februrary Mayo Performing Arts Center Students of the Month.

"Zach is an incredibly enthusiastic and dedicated member of the Randolph High School Band program,'' said RHS Symphonic Winds Director Diana May. He plays trumpet in the marching band, symphonic winds and jazz ensemble.

"Zach is an accomplished musician and was selected for the 2016 Jr. Region Band and 2017 North Jersey Area Band," May said. "He is always looking to improve and make positive contributions to all of his ensembles."

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Grade 10, Randolph High School, Randolph; Nominated by Diana May

BIO: Zach is an incredibly enthusiastic and dedicated member of the Randolph High School Band program. He plays trumpet in the Marching Band, Symphonic Winds, and Jazz Ensemble at RHS. In addition, he is an active member of the Honors Music program. Zach is an accomplished musician and was selected for the Jr. Region Band (2016) and North Jersey Area Band (2017). He is always looking to improve and make positive contributions to all of his ensembles.

Maddy Burger an eighth grader at Randolph Middle School, was nominated by Tom Davidson

BIO: Maddy is an 8th grader at Randolph Middle School who truly loves music, playing the tuba, and participating in band. She began on the trombone but was presented with the opportunity to play the tuba. This led her to be nominated by the Randolph Middle School band staff to the North Jersey School Music Association Elementary Honors Band after only playing the tuba for a few months. She has been accepted into the NJSMA Jr. Region Band and has also been nominated by the RMS band staff to the North Jersey Jr. Area Band. She placed first chair in the tuba section. Maddy is a very serious student with a great work ethic. She takes great pride in her academic and musical achievements.  

Students from schools based in Parsippany,  Chester, Boonton, Dover, Chatham. Budd Lake, Kinnelon, Morristown, Oak Ridge, and Mendham were also honored as Mayo Performing Arts Center February Music Students of the Month – Outstanding Brass Musicians or Horn Player-- prior to the Friday, February 17 performance by Chris Botti.

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

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 Theater 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.

The 2016-2017 Music Student of the Month program is sponsored by The Provident Bank Foundation.

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

AJ Asuncion

Grade 7, Brooklawn Middle School, Parsippany; Nominated by Joseph Stella

AJ is a 7th grade French horn player at Brooklawn Middle School in Parsippany. This is the first year he switched to playing the horn. Since September he has made great strides, taking initiative to learn the notes, fingerings and different partials on the horn. He has greatly increased his range and ability to read music on the horn and is making a positive impact on the band. He is fitting in just fine as if he had played the horn for years, so I believe he should be recognized for his hard work and dedication to catch up and become a contributing member of our band.      

Amelia Cangialosi         

Grade 8, Black River Middle School, Chester; Nominated by Dr. Kenneth Piascik

Amelia is the definition of a well rounded, dedicated and talented musician. Amelia joined the music program with her trumpet in 6th grade and has never stopped growing as a musician, person, and leader over the past three years. Her journey included performing in every regular and honors ensemble offered at the school, advancing to the highest member of the “Music Level Program” and mentoring our younger 6th grade students.

Zachary Freiheiter

Miki Hansen                 

Grade 12, Parsippany High School, Parsippany; Nominated by Gregory Dalakian

Miki has been an active member of the PHS Music Department throughout her entire high school career. Miki has shown promise as an outstanding trumpet player since her freshman year, and has only continued to grow into an accomplished musician and role model for her peers. Miki has been a valuable member of our Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, Jazz Ensemble, and Marching Band over the years and has successfully auditioned into both the North Jersey Area Band and NJ Region I Band since her sophomore year. In addition to being a talented trumpet player, Miki has served as Drum Major of the award-winning PHS Marching Band for the past two years, and was even a featured trumpet soloist during our field show this past season.

Brian Liska                   

Grade 7, John Hill School, Boonton; Nominated by Yvonne Manca

Brian Liska is an outstanding brass player and has been since he joined the band in 4th grade. Brian plays the trumpet in the school band in addition to an outside Harmonium Group. He also plays the baritone. He had a solo on the baritone during the last concert and played beautifully. He is a great player with an exceptional brass range. Brian is a dedicated musician and strives for excellence whenever he plays.

Alexander Matias                      

Grade 12, Dover High School, Dover; Nominated by Dan Vazquez

Alex is a senior at Dover High School where he plays euphonium in our concert band and pit orchestra as well as trombone in our jazz band and marching band where he is also one of our drum majors. Alex has a love for music that is extraordinary and is applying to colleges to be a music performance major. He is a student I have the utmost respect for and is a role model to the entire program.

Sean McCarty

Grade 12, Chatham High School, Chatham; Nominated by Brian Conti

Sean plays the bass trombone and was recently accepted into All-Eastern Honors Band. He has previously been accepted into All-State Band, All-State Jazz Ensemble, Region 1 Wind Ensemble and Region 1 Orchestra. Sean was selected as one of the drum majors this past marching band season and continues to be an integral member of the music department. He is a member of the high school wind ensemble, jazz ensemble, pit orchestra, and performs with 2 area jazz ensembles. He has a great appreciation and love of music and continues to motivate and assist his peers and friends with the many activities offered at the high school and nearby events. Sean plans on pursuing a career in music and is eagerly waiting and preparing for his college auditions.

Mark Murphy

Grade 8, Mount Olive Middle School, Budd Lake; Nominated by Melany McQueeny

Mark is a member of the eighth grade band at Mount Olive Middle School. Mark has been a leader within our music program since entering the middle school. There has never been a piece of music that I have put in front of Mark that he has not been able to play. He is also a member of the Jazz Band and our Junior Winds Group. He has participated in North Jersey Area Band and Montclair State University’s Chamber Day for the past two years. He has been a featured soloist in many of the ensembles in which he participates. He also takes private trumpet and piano lessons. 

Erin Mickey                  

Grade 12, Kinnelon High School, Kinnelon; Nominated by Ryan Stroud

Erin is a senior horn player here at KHS. She’s a model student who has always set an amazing example for her peers. Over the past few years, she has been a member of the North Jersey Area Band and Region I Honors Band. She’s been in the TCNJ Honors Wind Ensemble. She’s travelled across Europe playing music with American Music Abroad, and shortly, she’ll be studying music either as a minor or major in college. Her dedication to our program and to bettering herself as a person and a musician is why I’ve nominated her. She’s a great young lady with an incredible future in front of her.

Emma Piascik              

Grade 12, Morristown High School, Morristown; Nominated by Michael Russo

Emma is the Principal Trumpet player in the Morristown HS Wind Ensemble. She has also successfully auditioned for many Honor Groups including being selected for Region 1 Junior Band, North Jersey Area Wind Ensemble and Region 1 Symphonic Band. Emma has proven to me by participating in these ensembles that she can be responsible and manage her time well. She has also participated in many other musical activities outside of Morristown High School that have enhanced her knowledge and appreciation of music. Emma possesses great desire and works very hard to achieve her goals. She has excelled in her leadership role in the music department and always encourages the underclassmen.

Ryan Schmidt              

Grade 11, Jefferson Township High School, Oak Ridge; Nominated by Rich Barrieres

Ryan is our principal trumpet player here at Jefferson Township High School. Ryan was recently accepted into the All North Jersey Region Band as well as the North Jersey Area Band. Ryan also plays in the Sussex County Youth Orchestra and the County College of Morris Wind Ensemble. In addition to his accolades in music, Ryan is involved in many clubs at JTHS and is an Honors and AP student at the highest levels of junior year courses. He is a member of the Executive Board for the JTHS Tri-M Music Honor Society as well as a PDP leader-one of the select group of peer counselors chosen and recommended by teachers. He is a true scholar musician in every aspect within our JTHS school community.

Cameron Weil               

Grade 8, Mountain View Middle School, Mendham; Nominated by Leigh Carpenter

Cameron has played French Horn at Mountain View since 5th grade. He is now playing the tuba as well as the French Horn and setting down a solid foundation for our bands. Cameron is in our Senior and Advanced Bands, and also helps our young Junior Band, volunteering to come in on his own time before school. He makes music fun because he gets inspired by music. He plays very musically for his age, knowing notes and rhythms and is solid on his technique. Cameron also brings style and interpretation to his music. Cameron is such an asset to our band program at Mountain View.

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 2016-2017 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 Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, 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 has been named 2016 Outstanding Historic Theatre by the League of Historic American Theatres.



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