Arts & Entertainment

Sixth Annual "Concert for Nikhil" Brings Tears and Cheers in West Orange

Anay Badlani performs in honor of Nikhil Badlani Credits: Cynthia Cumming

WEST ORANGE, NJ - The Sixth Annual “Musical Celebration and Tribute to Nikhil" was held on May 16 at Liberty Middle School, bringing together students, faculty and local musicians to celebrate the life of Nikhil Badlani and the Work of the Nikhil Badlani Foundation.

Nikhil, who died following a car crash in June, 2011, would have graduated with his fellow classmates next month from West Orange High School.

Sangeeta Badlani welcomed the audience to the concert as Anay Badlani performed on the piano to open the program. Emcees for the evening were Izzy Echeverria and Kevin Zeligson, both seniors at WOHS who were close friends of Nikhil's.

Sign Up for E-News

The “Music for Nikhil” program offers instruction in several musical instruments to middle and high school students at a reduced cost and often via scholarships. A unique component of the concert is that students and their instructors perform selections featuring only the instrument of study. 

The trumpet, flute, bassoon, clarinet, French horn, saxophone (alto, tenor, baritone), trombone and this year's newest addition, the upright bass, were featured in separate performances.

A video produced by high school students thanking the foundation for the Music for Nikhil program followed, and the seniors came together for a performance of "Born This Way," by Lady Gaga, which was a particular favorite of Nikhil's.

In the emotional high point of the program, Sangeeta Badlani introduced the finale by telling a story about Nikhil and his love for the music from "The Lion King." 

"He would run around the house and sing those songs at the top of his lungs," she said. "He was only five and he knew all the words." 

Liberty Middle School Band Director Ryan Krewer arranged the medley of songs from "The Lion King," which brought together 70 musicians on the Liberty Stage to pay tribute to a young boy whodied much too soon and to the family that works tirelessly to ensure that many lives will be saved, thanks to the efforts of the Nikhil Badlani Foundation.

To see all the photos from the Concert for Nikhil and a video of "The Lion King" finale, click here

The Nikhil Badlani Foundation promotes traffic safety awareness and music education and provides scholarships to graduating West Orange High School and Columbia High School seniors. In 2015, “Nikhil’s Law” was passed in New Jersey, which expands the New Jersey state driver's examination to include a question asking whether the driver is aware of the consequences of failing to adhere to traffic laws, and gives them the option to take the Stop for Nikhil Safety Pledge. Go to for more information.

To obtain local news and events faster, download the new TAPinto App for iPhone or Android free in the Google Play Store and the Apple Store by searching for “tapinto” or “”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

West Orange

Livingston Smiles - $150 Value

March 21, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ - Livingston Smiles is offering a Smile Analysis and FREE consultation - $150 value.  Call today to make an appointment: (973) 992-4099.  Mention this ad to claim this offer!

Take the quiz to find out if you should take advantage Dr. Krugmans' offer!

About Dr. Krugman:

A lifetime resident of Livingston, Dr. Gary Krugman has dedicated over 35 years to ...

New Challenge Starts April 9 at Max Challenge of West Orange

WEST ORANGE, NJ - The Max Challenge of West Orange is gearing up for its next Challenge.

"Enrolling in The Max Challenge of West Orange is like having a Personal Trainer, a Nutritionist and a Success Coach all in one! Our fitness classes are for ALL FITNESS LEVELS offering modifications for all exercises whether you are just starting out or just need something different!"

Visit ...

10% OFF at Advantage Pest Control

WEST ORANGE, NJ - Advantage Pest Control is now offering 10% OFF new termite services. Call now to take advantage of this limit time offer! Call and ask for the "TAP DISCOUNT" (973) 736-1007

"We combine our knowledge of construction and termite biology so we can offer the right options for treatment to fit any situation and budget. We feature Termidor termiticide ...

Upcoming Events

To the Editor: This National Literacy Month, Let's Rein In Screen Time

March 19, 2018

Dear Editor:

As speech-language pathologists across New Jersey prepare to mark “National March into Literacy Month,” let’s address the alarming number of young children who spend countless hours a day on a handheld screen.

According to a study from the Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting, the more time that children under two years spend on smartphones, tablets and ...

Conserve and Protect the Environment by Participating in Earth Hour

March 21, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ — For the past seven years, Town Council President Susan McCartney has registered the Township of West Orange as a community pledging to participate in this global Earth Hour event—the simple act of joining millions of others from 170 countries around the world in turning off the lights for one hour, she explained.

Each year, the township is joined by a ...

Former Rumson Student Arrested for Possessing MSR-15 Patrol Rifle, Silencer, Explosive Chemicals

March 19, 2018

MONMOUTH, NJ — A former Rumson High School student, Maximilien Reynolds, 19, was arrested in Ithaca, NY, and charged with Possession of an Unregistered Destructive Device/Silencer, False Statement in Acquisition of a Firearm and False Statement in Required Firearm Record.

Specifically, he is alleged to have possessed an MSR-15 Patrol ...

Valyrian Steel: Where is it All? Should We Still Care?

There is a glaring hole in recent Game of Thrones seasons that needs to be addressed: the ability of Valyrian steel to destroy White Walkers has not been acknowledged since before Jon Snow’s death.

In fact, it hasn’t been mentioned since the Season Five finale when Jon Snow reveals this discovery to Sam Tarly. Jon has cared about little more than the war between the living and ...

Coffee, Tea or Fleas?

Two ducks are on a flight to Miami.  The first duck says to the second, “you flying south for the winter?”  The second duck replies, “Oh wow, a talking emotional support duck!”


Pa rum pum.


There have been a lot of news stories lately about animals traveling on airplanes.  Some are humorous, like the woman who recently tried to bring ...

'Trying' explores age, youth and points of history in poignant production

‘Trying’ explores youth, age and points of history in poignant production

By Liz Keill

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The George Street Playhouse presents an engrossing, two-character play based on the real life of Francis Biddle, former Attorney General.

Biddle, a Harvard educated lawyer, served under Franklin Roosevelt and later Harry Truman during the Nuremberg Tribunal. His ...