Music Student of the Month

Morristown, NJ Performing Arts School Students Photo - Mayo Performing Arts Center 


MPAC Music Students of February

Students from schools based in Parsippany, Randolph, Chester, Boonton, Dover, Chatham. Budd Lake, Kinnelon, Morristown, Oak Ridge, and Mendham were honored as Mayo Performing Arts Center February Music Students of the Month – Outstanding Brass Musicians-- prior to the Friday, February 17 performance by Chris Botti. The students were recognized for their achievements on stage prior to the concert and had the opportunity to meet Chris Botti. 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 2016-2017 Music Student of the Month program is sponsored by The Provident Bank Foundation. Music Students of the Month are: (bios provided by school) 

AJ Asuncion Grade 7, Brooklawn Middle School, Parsippany; Nominated by Joseph Stella
AJ is a 7th grade French horn player at Brooklawn Middle School in Parsippany. This is the first year he switched to playing the horn. Since September he has made great strides, taking initiative to learn the notes, fingerings and different partials on the horn. He has greatly increased his range and ability to read music on the horn and is making a positive impact on the band. He is fitting in just fine as if he had played the horn for years, so I believe he should be recognized for his hard work and dedication to catch up and become a contributing member of our band.

Maddy Burger Grade 8, Randolph Middle School, Randolph; Nominated by Tom Davidson
Maddy is an 8th grader at Randolph Middle School who truly loves music, playing the tuba, and participating in band. She began on the trombone but was presented with the opportunity to play the tuba. This led her to be nominated by the Randolph Middle School band staff to the North Jersey School Music Association Elementary Honors Band after only playing the tuba for a few months. She has been accepted into the NJSMA Jr. Region Band and has also been nominated by the RMS band staff to the North Jersey Jr. Area Band. She placed first chair in the tuba section. Maddy is a very serious student with a great work ethic. She takes great pride in her academic and musical achievements. 

Amelia Cangialosi Grade 8, Black River Middle School, Chester; Nominated by Dr. Kenneth Piascik
Amelia is the definition of a well rounded, dedicated and talented musician. Amelia joined the music program with her trumpet in 6th grade and has never stopped growing as a musician, person, and leader over the past three years. Her journey included performing in every regular and honors ensemble offered at the school, advancing to the highest member of the “Music Level Program” and mentoring our younger 6th grade students. 

Zachary Freiheiter Grade 10, Randolph High School, Randolph; Nominated by Diana May
Zach is an incredibly enthusiastic and dedicated member of the Randolph High School Band program. He plays trumpet in the Marching Band, Symphonic Winds, and Jazz Ensemble at RHS. In addition, he is an active member of the Honors Music program. Zach is an accomplished musician and was selected for the Jr. Region Band (2016) and North Jersey Area Band (2017). He is always looking to improve and make positive contributions to all of his ensembles.

Miki Hansen Grade 12, Parsippany High School, Parsippany; Nominated by Gregory Dalakian
Miki has been an active member of the PHS Music Department throughout her entire high school career. Miki has shown promise as an outstanding trumpet player since her freshman year, and has only continued to grow into an accomplished musician and role model for her peers. Miki has been a valuable member of our Wind Ensemble, Concert Band, Jazz Ensemble, and Marching Band over the years and has successfully auditioned into both the North Jersey Area Band and NJ Region I Band since her sophomore year. In addition to being a talented trumpet player, Miki has served as Drum Major of the award-winning PHS Marching Band for the past two years, and was even a featured trumpet soloist during our field show this past season.

Brian Liska Grade 7, John Hill School, Boonton; Nominated by Yvonne Manca
Brian Liska is an outstanding brass player and has been since he joined the band in 4th grade. Brian plays the trumpet in the school band in addition to an outside Harmonium Group. He also plays the baritone. He had a solo on the baritone during the last concert and played beautifully. He is a great player with an exceptional brass range. Brian is a dedicated musician and strives for excellence whenever he plays.

Alexander Matias Grade 12, Dover High School, Dover; Nominated by Dan Vazquez
Alex is a senior at Dover High School where he plays euphonium in our concert band and pit orchestra as well as trombone in our jazz band and marching band where he is also one of our drum majors. Alex has a love for music that is extraordinary and is applying to colleges to be a music performance major. He is a student I have the utmost respect for and is a role model to the entire program.

Sean McCarty Grade 12, Chatham High School, Chatham; Nominated by Brian Conti
Sean plays the bass trombone and was recently accepted into All-Eastern Honors Band. He has previously been accepted into All-State Band, All-State Jazz Ensemble, Region 1 Wind Ensemble and Region 1 Orchestra. Sean was selected as one of the drum majors this past marching band season and continues to be an integral member of the music department. He is a member of the high school wind ensemble, jazz ensemble, pit orchestra, and performs with 2 area jazz ensembles. He has a great appreciation and love of music and continues to motivate and assist his peers and friends with the many activities offered at the high school and nearby events. Sean plans on pursuing a career in music and is eagerly waiting and preparing for his college auditions.

Mark Murphy Grade 8, Mount Olive Middle School, Budd Lake; Nominated by Melany McQueeny
Mark is a member of the eighth grade band at Mount Olive Middle School. Mark has been a leader within our music program since entering the middle school. There has never been a piece of music that I have put in front of Mark that he has not been able to play. He is also a member of the Jazz Band and our Junior Winds Group. He has participated in North Jersey Area Band and Montclair State University’s Chamber Day for the past two years. He has been a featured soloist in many of the ensembles in which he participates. He also takes private trumpet and piano lessons.

Erin Mickey Grade 12, Kinnelon High School, Kinnelon; Nominated by Ryan Stroud
Erin is a senior horn player here at KHS. She’s a model student who has always set an amazing example for her peers. Over the past few years, she has been a member of the North Jersey Area Band and Region I Honors Band. She’s been in the TCNJ Honors Wind Ensemble. She’s travelled across Europe playing music with American Music Abroad, and shortly, she’ll be studying music either as a minor or major in college. Her dedication to our program and to bettering herself as a person and a musician is why I’ve nominated her. She’s a great young lady with an incredible future in front of her

The Music Student of the Month Program is generously underwritten by:

Performing Arts Residency Program Sponsor Logo Image - Mayo Performing Arts Center

About The Provident Bank Foundation:

The Provident Bank Foundation was established by New Jersey's oldest bank in 2003 to enhance the quality of life in New Jersey through support of not-for-profit groups, institutions, schools and other organizations that provide services in communities served by Provident Bank. Since its founding, the Foundation has provided more than $18 million in grants for programs focusing on education, health, wellness, recreation, the arts and social and civic services.

About Music Student of the Month

The Mayo Performing Arts Center is thrilled to continue the Music Student of the Month (MSOM) Program this year.  This student recognition program was recognized as “outstanding” by the New Jersey State Council of the Arts, and has honored hundreds of students over the last twelve years.  Thank you to all you educators who have taken time to nominate students!

Our program is not designed to simply honor extraordinary musicians, but to honor those students who put forth a tremendous effort to embody what it is to be a good member of a band, choir, or orchestra.  We are looking for Morris County students who demonstrate extraordinary leadership, personal development, and an overall sense of musicianship. 

Each month, we will choose 2-8 students representing various schools. Students who are selected will receive two tickets (one for themselves and one for a chaperone) to a special performance at The Mayo Performing Arts Center during which they will be honored on stage.
We will be handling all nominations through email. To nominate students, please have your MSOM representative email the following information each month:

  • Nominating instructor and contact information every month (including phone number, email address and school address)
  • Student’s name
  • Student’s grade level
  • Description (at least a paragraph) as to why they should be chosen
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