RED BANK, NJ – There's old joke: "How do you get to Carnegie Hall?"

"Practice kid, practice"

Wow, do we produce creative young folks.

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Two Red Bank Regional’s (RBR) Visual & Performing Art Academy (VPA) students were chosen as Rising Stars by the Algonquin Arts Theatre, a 20-year-old, state-wide competition. 

RBR junior Catherine Creed, Red Bank, 16, a VPA vocal major, and freshman Gabriel McGivern-Jimenez, 14, Wall Township, a VPA piano major were chosen along with ten other student musicians.

Twelve finalists performed in a concert held on Wednesday, November 14th , at the Algonquin Theatre in Manasquan NJ. 

Freshman Gabriel McGivern-Jimenez marks his second successful classical piano competition.  This past summer, he won a Gold Medal at the Golden Keys classical piano competition and performed at Carnegie Hall.

Catherine Creed had just successfully placed in the NATS (the National Association of Teachers of Singing) competition taking 2nd place in the in the Women’s Upper Division classical segment. 

That competition was held on November 3rd  at the Westminster Choir College Family Weekend Showcase.  She has performed twice at Carnegie Hall for Opera and with the New England Symphonic Ensemble. 

She also performed with RBR and the Cathedral Choir at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral and with the Concordia Choral at the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.

Both students share a passion for their art and are delighted they have the opportunity to practice it 90 minutes in every school day. Catherine hopes to attend a major music conservatory college after graduation and would like to pursue a career in voice performance. 

She remarks about her opportunity to attend the RBR VPA program, “It is just a giant family. I love it here; this is my home. It is always so amazing to work with people who are just as passionate as you about the arts.”  

Gabriel commented, “I really like performing; it is just the feeling of people enjoying what I do and provides a sense of purpose to what I have been practicing.”

I've got a notion that both Catherine Creed and Gabriel McGivern-Jimenez will be returning for encore performances at Carnegie Hall.

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