The Columbia High School Virtuosi Ensemble was very honored to perform at the New Jersey School Boards Association State Convention (NJSBA) on Wednesday, October 23, in the Atlantic City Convention Center.
Per the recommendation of Arts Supervisor James A Manno, Columbia High School String Orchestra instructor Todd Van Beveren sent in a video excerpt to NJSBA of the ensemble performing in May 2019 for consideration. The Virtuosi Ensemble received an acceptance email in June 2019 which indicated that they were one of six student groups invited state-wide to perform at the conference, and that they were the only string ensemble invited.
The ensemble played the first movement of the Felix Mendelssohn Octet in E-flat Major, Op.20, a treasure of the chamber music repertoire and a piece that challenged the group at it's highest level. Mendelssohn wrote the piece at the age of 16, one year before he wrote his music for A Midsummer Night's Dream.
The Virtuosi students had a great time exhibiting their talents at the convention. The students considered it an honor to be chosen, and they were pleased to be supported by the District Superintendent, CHS Principal, Board President, School Business Administrator and Arts Supervisor who were all present at the performance.
Additionally, Mr. Van Beveren and the Virtuosi Ensemble would like to thank all the administrators and Board of Ed members who have been so supportive of the program throughout the years.
CHS Virtuosi Ensemble
Front row, from left: Hank Mecinski, Gabriel Roth, Daisy Andrejco, Hazel Allison Way, Zubin Kremer Guha, Jasper Thomas Yount, Imogen Pranger, Tess von Brachel, Julien Gagnier, Frida Rahmani
Back row, from left: Dr. Ronald G. Taylor (Superintendent South Orange Maplewood Schools), Dr. Kalisha Morgan (Interim Principal Columbia High School), James A Manno (Supervisor of the Fine and Performing Arts South Orange Maplewood Schools), Todd Van Bevern (String Orchestra Teacher), Paul Roth (School Business Administrator), Annmari Maini (School Board President)