Arts & Entertainment

Scotch Plains Musicians to Perform at Special Graduation Recital on June 6

Daniel Shenker, sax; Marisa Li, cello; Victoria Tian, flute; Mira Yang, viola; Divya Narayanan, flutist; Samantha Sprechman, soprano; Ethan Marmolejos, tuba; to perform June 6, 7:30 p.m. in Westfield Credits: Gerald A Shea

WESTFIELD, NJ -- Soprano Samantha Sprechman of Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School will be a featured performer when the Junior Musical Club of Westfield holds its annual Graduation Recital at the First Baptist Church (170 Elm Street, Westfield) on Wednesday, June 6, at 7:30 p.m. The concert is free and open to the public and celebrates high school seniors in the club about to leave for college.

Samantha will sing “Many Moons Ago” (from Once Upon a Mattress), “For Good” (from Wicked), and “Il Bianco e Dolce Cigno,” a 16th century madrigal. She has studied with voice teachers Jan Allen, Deborah Eberts and Sarah Blood. She was chosen as vocalist for the Moonglowers, the award winning high school jazz band.

At SPFHS, she sang as an ensemble member in Grease and in The Mystery of Edwin Drood, as Ms. Merkle in Bye Bye Birdie, and as the Minstrel in Once Upon a Mattress. In private productions, she was Miss Hannigan in Annie, and a member of the octet in Babes in Arms. Samantha will be attending Temple University in the fall with a major in biochemistry.

Sign Up for E-News

Flutist Victoria Tian of the Union County Academy for Allied Health Sciences, will play Camille Saint-Saëns' Romance, Op. 37 on the flute accompanied by Beverly Shea, piano; She will also play piano for Saint-Saëns' "The Swan" from The Carnival of the Animals with Marisa Li, cello.

Victoria has been a member of the New Jersey Youth Symphony's Flute Forum ensemble and Fortissimo Flutes ensemble, as well as the flutist for the Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School Moonglowers. She received first class honors with distinction and the highest score in the tri-state area on the Level 7 Royal Conservatory of Music Flute Exam. She will attend Cornell University and major in Global and Public Health Sciences.

Other performers are:

Violinist Suraj Chandran, the Wardlaw-Hartridge School, will present J. S. Bach's Violin Sonata, No. 1, BWV 1001, Movements 1. Adagio, 2. Fugue, and 4. Presto. He has studied violin under Ms. Debra Biderman. At Wardlaw-Hartridge, his teachers were Mr. Rick Fontaine, band, and Mrs. Sharon Byrne, choir. Suraj plays violin for the Greater Newark Academy Orchestra and alto saxophone in the Wardlaw-Hartridge band. He will attend the University of Pennsylvania in the fall.

Cellist Marisa Li, Westfield High School, will perform Gabriel Fauré's Élégie, Op.24, accompanied by Beverly Shea, and she will join Victoria Tian, piano, to play Camille Saint-Saëns' "The Swan" from The Carnival of the Animals. Marisa has played with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra's Academy Orchestra, the Westfield High School Chamber Orchestra, and the Music from China Youth Orchestra, including a performance at Carnegie Hall. She will attend Bentley University and major in Computer Information Systems and Economics-Finance.

Tuba player Ethan Marmolejos of Watchung Hills Regional High School will perform selections from Walter S. Hartley's Suite for Unaccompanied Tuba. He will be joined by Suraj Chandran, violin, to play P. D. Q. Bach's The Only Piece Ever Written for Violin and Tuba. He is a recipient of the 2018 Governor's Award in Arts Education and will attend Carnegie Mellon University with a major in Music Performance.

Flutist Divya Narayanan of the Union County Academy for Allied Health Sciences, will join pianist Mira Yang to play Debussy's The Girl with the Flaxen Hair. She has played flute for nine years and has studied with Mrs. Chia Hsiu Wang for three. For seven years, she has been a member of the New Jersey Youth Symphony. She successfully completed Levels 5 through 10 of the Royal Conservatory Music Development Program and is a two-time National Gold Medal Winner. She will attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and study Music and Neuroscience.

Pianist and alto saxophone player Daniel Shenker of Westfield High School, will perform J. S. Bach's Prelude and Fugue, No. 12: Prelude in F minor and Chopin's Mazurka Op. 67, No. 4 on piano and Benjamin Britten's Six Metamorphoses after Ovid, Mvt. 1 (Pan). Daniel played in the Westfield High School Wind Ensemble and was a Westfield High School Concerto Competition Winner. He will attend Johns Hopkins University and major in Applied Mathematics.

Violist and pianist Mira Yang of the Union County Magnet High School, will play Rachmaninoff’s Etude-Tableux #7 in G minor on piano and will join Divya Narayanan, flute, to present Claude Debussy’s The Girl with the Flaxen Hair. Mira has performed in Carnegie Hall eight times and received a Diploma in Social Music from the National Piano Guild. Outside of music, she was a Google Code-in Grand Prize Winner, Science Olympiad medal winner, writing award recipient, and the winner of community service scholarships. Mira will attend Northwestern and Feinberg School of Medicine’s Honors Program in Medical Education.

The concert will be followed by a reception to greet the artists, to congratulate them on their success in high school, and to offer every good wish as they start their university years.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Scotch Plains/Fanwood

Three School Buses Involved in Crash at Clark's ALJ High School

June 21, 2018

CLARK, NJ — Three buses collided in the Arthur L. Johnson High School parking lot around noon on Thursday in a chain-reaction crash. 

Students were on board at the time, according to Police Chief Pedro Matos. One driver and two students had minor injuries, Matos said.   

According to a Honeywell alert issued by the Clark Public School District, ...

Let's Talk About Suicide

In our world today, it seems our children, no matter the town, state, education, family unit, socioeconomic background, ethnicity or religion are grappling with complex, confounding and complicated issues not even fit for a middle-aged adult. Sadly, one of these issues is suicide. With mental health gaining more attention, the stigma appears to be dissipating but when a mental health ...

Is Summer Camp the Right Choice for My Child?

Is your child attending camp this summer? Is it their first experience away?  If yes, it can be an experience causing anxiety for you, for the parent and the child. 

This experience can be frightening to your child if it is their first time and it is so important that they do not see your worry or anxiety about leaving home for the first time… especially if it is sleep ...

What Are The Warning Signs of Suicide

The recent passings of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain remind us to take mental illness seriously. 

Many of us feel uncomfortable to ask when someone in distress is suicidal for fear we are putting this thought in their minds. This is not true. It is a myth that asking about suicide increases the risk of suicide. The most common mental illness is depression. Some people are ...


In honor of the Lubavitcher Rebbe's (of righteous memory) 24th  Yahrtzeit (anniversary of his passing) this coming Saturday the 16th.

Excerpts from an address given by Nobel-laureate Elie Wiesel on April 7, 1992, at a congressional dinner held in Washington on the occasion of the Rebbe's 90th birthday.

Some of you are aware of my admiration, not only ...

We Must Address The Unrealistic Affordable Housing Process Now

June 19, 2018

Dear Editor:

I would like to thank all the residents who attended and watched last Tuesday’s Town Hall meeting on over-development and legislative solutions with Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi and I. If you were unable to attend, I encourage you to watch the meeting on SPTV or the Township’s Facebook page at ().

The meeting was a real eye-opener for many of our residents. It ...

Imagine Hosts Annual Breakfast Fundraiser

June 23, 2018

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Nearly 350 guests attended Imagine’s 7th annual breakfast fundraiser, Seasons of Hope, on June 6, at Shackamaxon Country Club in Scotch Plains.

"We especially want to thank our breakfast sponsors -- our platinum sponsor Merck, our bronze sponsors ConnectOne Bank and Northfield Bank, the volunteers and donors that contributed to the breakfast” said Imagine ...

Upcoming Events

Mon, June 25, 9:00 AM

Terrill Road Baptist Chruch, Scotch Plains

LifeWay’s 2018 Vacation Bible School at Terrill ...

Religions And Spirituality


Mon, July 9, 10:00 AM

Scotch Plains Public Library, Scotch Plains

Join the Summer Jewelry Making Club at the Scotch ...

Arts & Entertainment Health & Wellness Home & Garden


Mon, July 9, 7:00 PM

Scotch Plains Public Library, Scotch Plains

Learn about Gourmet Salt at the Scotch Plains ...

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink