Jared Hill named Mayo Performing Arts Music Student of the Month

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Ongshu Dutta, Jared Hill, Neil Katta, Dominick Tucci. Not pictured: Julia Landi

MOUNTAIN LAKES — Jared Hill, Grade 9, from Mountain Lakes High School was honored as Mayo Performing Arts Center’s April Music Students of the Month, prior to the Friday, April 19 performance by The Romeros.

There were also students from Parsippany, Randolph and Morristown honored.

The students were recognized for their achievements on stage prior to the concert and had the opportunity to meet the performers.

Students were nominated by their teachers and were chosen by the Theatre’s Education Department based on their commitment to and excellence in the performing arts. The Theatre will honor a group of students every month throughout the season and invites area teachers to nominate students for this honor. Students will be invited to perform at a year-end recital in June.

The 2018-2019 Music Student of the Month program is supported by The Walter F. and Alice Gorham Foundation, Inc.

Music Students of the Month are:
Jared Hill: Grade 9, Mountain Lakes High School; Mountain Lakes; Nominated by Tom Matt Jardim Jared Hill has been involved in the guitar program since 4th grade.  He has demonstrated an insatiable curiosity for learning the guitar in all its styles and techniques.  As a student at the Wildwood Elementary School, he learned classical guitar technique and a good note reading foundation.  At the Briarcliff Middle School, Jared continued his playing by being involved in our after school guitar club.  As a freshman at Mountain Lakes High School, he is now enrolled in the guitar class elective and is clearly the most well-rounded and advanced player. He also volunteers to help the middle school guitar ensemble in an accompaniment role. The fact that Jared is the first person to be ready to play and the last person to leave demonstrates his love for the instrument and shows his desire to take maximum advantage of what my guitar program has to offer.

Ongshu Dutta
Grade 8, Randolph Middle School; Randolph; Nominated by Tom Davidson
Ongshu grew up surrounded by the arts, and he was inspired to begin to study music because of his family members knowing how to play a myriad of instruments.  At age six, Ongshu started learning to play the piano.  He was later inspired to study the guitar after listing to the song, “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd.  So at the age nine, alongside the piano, he began to study the guitar.  Ongshu also performed in the talent show in 5th grade at Fernbrook Elementary School.  In 6th grade, he was able to perform his dream song, “Wish You Were Here” and “Love Potion Number 9” by The Searchers at Saint Francis Residential Living in Denville.  He also enjoys playing music by The Eagles and Ed Sheeran.  Although Ongshu’s loves performing pop and rock music, he believes that the best part of his music career thus far was being accepted into the Randolph Middle School Jazz Ensemble in 6th grade because it gave him the chance to perform in a band and have fun with friends who had similar music interests.  Being involved in the jazz ensemble has taught him many things that he could have not learned by himself.

Julia Landi
Grade 12, Morristown High School; Morristown; Nominated by David Gallagher
I have had the pleasure of working with Julia over the past 3 years.  She has been a member of the marching band for 2 years playing guitar in the front ensemble and playing a crucial role in our jazz themed show.  Julia is also a member of the Spectrum Jazz Band, the top jazz band at the high school that competes in festivals throughout the school year.  Julia has been playing in the pit orchestras for the high school musical since her sophomore year as well.  That year she even pulled double duty volunteering to play for the middle school production of Shrek as well.  Other musicals have included Legally Blonde and The Addams Family, which have some truly unique and complicated guitar parts and Julia handled them like a rockstar, playing as if she was a professional in the pit.

Neil Katta
Grade 6, Brooklawn Middle School; Parsippany; Nominated by Joseph Stella

Neil is a talented musician in the 6th grade band at Brooklawn Middle School. During concert band he plays the alto saxophone, but in jazz band he is the guitarist. This is Neil’s first year in middle school and although he is relatively new to jazz, he is quickly showing off his guitar skills by navigating chords and melodies with ease.  Aside from his musical talent, Neil is also a very mature, polite and respectful student.

Dominick Tucci
Grade 12, Randolph High School; Randolph; Nominated by Michael Lichtenfeld
During his time at Randolph High School, Dominick consistently demonstrates a strong work ethic and a dedication to success.  His efforts have produced high quality results time and time again.  Dominick demonstrates great integrity, enthusiasm, and energy as a student.  He works diligently in his music courses to prepare himself for collegiate level classes and ensembles. His work is consistently through and punctual and he is also helpful with classmates. Dominick is a fine role model for other students and his philosophy of putting others first will serve him well as he begins the next step on what I’m sure will be a very successful journey. Many of his fellow students seek his advice and support and Dominick is always there for them.  Dominick is also a very skilled guitar player and has successfully auditioned into and performed many concerts with our jazz program here at Randolph High School.

Mayo Performing Arts Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, presents a wide range of programs that entertain, enrich, and educate the diverse population of the region and enhance the economic vitality of Northern New Jersey. The 2018-2019 season is made possible, in part, by a grant the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as support received from the F.M. Kirby Foundation and numerous corporations, foundations and individuals. The Mayo Performing Arts Center has been designated a Major Presenting Organization by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. Mayo Performing Arts Center was named 2016 Outstanding Historic Theatre by the League of Historic American Theatres, and is ranked in the top 50 mid-sized performing arts centers by Pollstar Magazine.