15th Annual West Orange Music Faculty Scholarship Concert “Raises the Roof”

 Lou Quagliato, Ryan Krewer, Roger Bryson, Don Braden perform. Credits: Cynthia Cumming
WOHS Chorus teacher John Hellyer performs. Credits: Cynthia Cumming
 EMS orchestra teacher Joe Romano performs. Credits: Cynthia Cumming
Nicole Payne and Allison Gibbons perform. Credits: Cynthia Cumming

WEST ORANGE, NJ - The 15th Annual West Orange Music Faculty Scholarship “raised the roof” at Liberty Middle School on Feb. 9, while raising funds for graduating seniors planning a career in music.

Concert-goers enjoyed a wide range of music from the music staff in the West Orange school district ranging from Shostakovich to Little Shop of Horrors. Emcee John Hellyer, WOHS Chorus teacher, kept the momentum and humor going throughout the evening, becoming serious long enough to sing, "Corner of the Sky," from Pippin.

The concert opened with WOHS actors Henry Gardner, Victoria Estoque and Gabriella Florendo singing, "Elaborate Lives," and "A Step Too Far," from the upcoming Spring musical, "AIDA."

Sign Up for E-News

Hellyer then had a duet with Lauren Grof-Tisza (WOHS tech) on "Suddenly Seymour," from Little Shop of Horrors," followed by Andrea Rommel on flute and Erin Lagatic on clarinet performing, "Four Waltzes for Flute, Clarinet and Piano."

A humorous rendition of "Duetto buffo di due Gatti," by Nicole Payne and Allison Gibbons in cat ears amused the crowd, with a powerful violin performance of "Praeludium and Allegro," by Francesco Composto, next on the program.

Payne then returned for a rendition of "Taylor, the Latte Boy," made popular by Kristen Chenowith and Joel Perry, and Deborah Rees played a “haunting” version of "Cafe, from Histoire du Tango," on classical guitar and flute.

Roosevelt band teacher Roger Bryson soloed on a “touching” rendition of "Blessings," by Laura Story.

Then, Mark Lagatic (trumpet), Ron Naspo (bass), Matt King (piano) and Pat Cuttita (drums) set a 60s detective-noir atmosphere with, "Toot Suite for Trumpet and Jazz Piano."

The appearance of Liberty Orchestra teacher Dave Rimelis signaled the start of larger group performances as he reminded audience members that Feb. 9 marked the beginning of Mardi Gras. He then tossed out beads during the large band performance of "Down by the Riverside."

"Cissy Strut," "After the Love Has Gone," and the "Star Wars" theme, arranged by Liberty band teacher Ryan Krewer, ended the evening on a “jubilant” note, featuring a special appearance by saxophonist Don Braden. 

Click HERE to see more photos from the Faculty Scholarship Concert. 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

West Orange

Local Children Invited to Register for Essex County Summer Camps

February 19, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ – Children of all ages are invited to participate in spring and summer camp opportunities at the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo, Essex County Codey Arena and the Essex County Environmental Center.

The zoo has several weeklong camp adventures that will introduce children to the extraordinary world of animals, nature and science. Campers and their parents/guardians are ...

Game of Thrones: A Definitive Ranking of Seasons 1-7

Groundhog Day. The day a tiny mammal’s shadow tells us when winter will come to an end. Me? I prefer my weather forecast in the form of a white raven (the telltale changing of seasons in Westeros).

For a few days, rumors spread that Game of Thrones will not return for its final season until April 2019, and while it was clarified that the April return date was likely a false rumor, HBO ...

Upcoming Events


Thu, February 22, 12:00 PM

Marriot Courtyard, West Orange

BIZ 2.0 WORKSHOPS - Lunch & Learn | Presented by ...

Business & Finance Food & Drink


Sun, February 25, 10:00 AM

West Orange High School (Tarnoff Cafeteria), West Orange

44th Annual Orange West Orange UNICO Sports ...

Arts & Entertainment Education


Sun, February 25, 12:00 PM

AMC Essex Green, West Orange

The 2018 West Orange Classic Film Festival

Arts & Entertainment

Brrr, It’s Old! Come Inside the West Essex YMCA to Explore Summer Camp Fun

February 7, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — While the thermometer may not budge above 40 degrees, the summer planning season is here. Families are invited to a summer camp information session at the West Essex YMCA from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 13.

Throughout the summer, the West Essex YMCA runs five development-appropriate programs for children ages 3 1/2 to 15, building self-esteem, confidence ...

Paterson Firefighter Opens Up About Struggles, Urges Others not to Suffer in Silence

February 8, 2018

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - Not a week goes by when a tale of heroism and bravery on the part of firefighters is not told. For them, running into a burning building is as natural as running out of one is for the rest of us.

That became apparent again on Monday when members of the Paterson Fire Department responded to a fire at 268 Main Street, which led to the eventual total collapse of ...

Let the Games Begin

I am truly awed by the Olympics.  Watching these superb young athletes on TV inspires me to renew my membership to the gym and pursue my lifelong dream of taking home the gold.  


The problem is that in my deluded head, I can see actually see myself standing atop the podium.  I am wrapped in a puffy designer ski coat with a huge piece of bling slung around my neck ...

In the Driver's Seat

Honey, I am going to take the Roadster out for a quick spin around the sun. I’ll be back in a few million years.


That’s nice dear. While you are out, could you pick up a gallon of milk?


In what has to be the greatest road trip of all time and space, Elon Musk, the visionary inventor, engineer, and billionaire investor loaded his very own red Tesla ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...