FLORHAM PARK — Congratulations to Francis Murray of Ridgedale Middle School for being chosen as one of January’s MPAC students of the month.
Students from Parsippany, Morristown, Roxbury, Florham Park and Randolph were honored as Mayo Performing Arts Center’s January Music Students of the Month – Outstanding Pianists — prior to the Thursday, January 30 performance by The 5 Browns.
The students were recognized for their achievements on stage prior to the concert and had the opportunity to meet the artists.
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 2019-2020 Music Student of the Month program is supported by The Walter F. and Alice Gorham Foundation, Inc.
Grade 8, Ridgedale Middle School; Florham Park; Nominated by Mike Leone
Francis has been a dedicated member of the RMS Music department for the past two years. He is currently in his eighth grade year, and is involved in Concert Band as a percussionist and Jazz Band as a pianist. Francis consistently shows dedication to his own preparedness and to the overall quality of the ensemble. He is a gifted musician and a true asset to our program. His love of music shines through in his performance and leadership within the program.
Grade 8, Brooklawn Middle School; Parsippany; Nominated by Joseph Stella
Sean has been selected by audition to be the pianist in our school’s jazz band for the past two years. He is a great musician all around and also plays clarinet in our 8th grade concert band. Sean has a very pleasant demeanor and is always kind and respectful.
Grade 7, The Peck School; Morristown; Nominated by Andrew Lyman
Sophie Cheng is an outstanding musician with a wealth of experience, and he most recent piano accolades are very impressive. Sophie won 1st place at the Crescendo International Music Competition in 2019; High Honor Award Recipient at the NJ Music Teachers Association Spring Recital for 2012-2019; Judges’ Award Recipient at the 2018 National Youth Performing Artists Concert. At the Peck School, Sophie is an integral part of the Arts program. She is a member of the Handbell Ensemble, the Winter Musical, and plays flute in the instrumental music program. Sophie is a wonderful musician who is dedicated to music.
Grade 12, Randolph High School; Randolph; Nominated by Diana May
Andrew is a senior at Randolph High School and he’s been very active within the music department throughout all four years. He plays viola in the Orchestra, sings in the Choir, play piano in the Pit Orchestra and is enrolled in the AP Music Theory class. Andrew often serves as a student accompanist for the Choir and as a student conductor for both Choir and Varsity Voices, RHS’s acapella group. He also volunteers his time to help with the middle school’s select choir, Canzonetta. Andrew participates in these many ensembles joyfully and his enthusiasm is contagious. Furthermore, he’s always willing to lend a helping hand to students and staff alike. He is a wonderful young man!
Grade 11, Roxbury High School; Roxbury; Nominated by Krista Sweer
David has been playing piano most of his life and is currently working on his High School Diploma through the National Guild of Piano Teachers and the American College of Musicians. This requires applicants to learn and memorize a large program of repertoire that meet guild guidelines and spans from Bach through contemporary composers as well as fundamentals such as scales, ear training, and sight-reading. In addition to being a great solo pianist, David has been expanding his playing into the field of collaborative piano (accompanying) as the student pianist for our choirs. As a pianist myself, it has been a joy to challenge him with more and more difficult pieces to play for our choirs and have him rise to the occasion each time. He has an incredible work ethic and plays with a mature and nuanced touch.
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 2019-2020 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. 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.