Kayla Ruggiero Named MPAC Music Student of the Month

Frank Delane, Neil Katta, Winston Li and Kayla Ruggiero

FLORHAM PARK — Students from Florham Park, Parsippany, Randolph and Mountain Lakes were honored as Mayo Performing Arts Center’s March Music Students of the Month – Outstanding Guitarists — prior to the Thursday, March 5 performance by classical guitarist Milos.

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.

Kayla Ruggiero
Grade 8, Ridgedale Middle School; Florham Park; Nominated by Mike Leone
Kayla has been a part of our music department since she was in sixth grade.  She is a percussionist for concert band, and has been an extremely reliable guitarist for our jazz band for three years.  Kayla is very respectful to adults in the building and her infectious positive personality spreads to everyone around her.  She is a very talented musician who regularly demonstrates a high level of performance and lifts up those around her through her example.  She is a valuable asset to our department, and she will be sorely missed when she graduates!

Neil Katta
Grade 6, Brooklawn Middle School; Parsippany; Nominated by Joseph Stella
Neil is a talented musician in the 7th 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 second year playing in the jazz band. In addition, he has been accepted into the pit band as the guitarist for this year’s school musical “Little Shop of Horrors”. Aside from his musical talent, Neil is also a very mature, polite and respectful student.

Frank Delane
Grade 12, Randolph High School; Randolph; Nominated by David Miller

Frank is a dedicated musician who joined our jazz program this year. He auditioned into the top jazz band at our high school without much prior jazz experience. Frank has diligently worked on the necessary skills to develop into a tremendous jazz guitar player.  The group plays professional arrangement and Frank has acquitted himself admirably.

Winston Li
Grade 9, Mountain Lakes High School; Mountain Lakes; Nominated by Matt Jardim
Winston has been enrolled in Guitar and advanced Guitar since 4th grade.  He is given advanced parts to play in the ensemble and often serves as an accompanist.  Winston was trained as a fingerstyle classical player but is equally adept at playing chords in jazz band and soloing in the rock style.  In addition, he exhibits advanced levels of thinking in music theory and in composing electronic music.

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.