Music Student of the Month

Front row (L-R): Natalie Paitchel, Molly McCarthy, Nicole Narvaez, Ava Chrusciel, Sinclair Stevens,
Back row: Caroline Nieto, Nofia Jarbo, Linda Eder (performer), Grace Sittig       

Same order of students as Photo 1 (with no Linda Eder); at end right - Ed and Linda Wacks from the Walter F. and Alice Gorham Foundation

December Music Students of the Month

Students from Rockaway, Mendham, Madison, Florham Park, Boonton, Parsippany, Kinnelon, Budd Lake, New Vernon, and Chester were honored as Mayo Performing Arts Center’s Music Students of the Month – Outstanding Vocalists -- prior to the Wednesday, December 13 performance by Linda Eder.

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

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 2017-2018 Music Student of the Month program is supported by The Walter F. and Alice Gorham Foundation, Inc.

Music Students of the Month are: (bios provided by school)

Hannah Ferguson           
Grade 11, Morris Hills High School; Rockaway; Nominated by Michelle Uhler
Although I have only known Hannah for a few months since my start as the Mois Hills Choir Director in Deptember, she has bene a standout as not only a stellar vocalist, but an all-around model student as well.  In addition to being enrolled in the curricular Concert Choir, Hannah is also enrolled in AP Music Theory, Orchestra, and several other AP and Honors level courses as well as all three of the co-curricular auditioned choirs that meet after school.  Hannah is extremely reliable not only as a section leader, but also as someone who I can count on to help direct and run rehearsals in my absence.

Christina Freeman         
Grade 12, West Morris Mendham High School, Mendham; Nominated by Patty Danner
Christina has grown so much in her four years at Mendham High School.  She surrounds herself with music and participated in as many ensembles as she can.  She has found much success in honors ensembles, including Morris Area Honor Choir, Region Choir, and All-State Mixed Choir.  Most recently she was accepted into All-Easter Choir.  Christina is a great performer and lights up when she is on stage.  She will be pursuing Music in college and we are so proud of everything she has accomplished at MHS!

Molly McCarthy
Grade 12, Madison High School, Madison; Nominated by Caryn Elefante
Molly has been a member of the Madison High school chorus and an integral part of the very elite, select Jazz Choir Ensemble.  She is also a 3 year member of the NJ All State Chorus.  Molly is a versatile singer, often switching from soprano to alto with each piece of music.  She is a strong vocalist and is a leader in whatever section she is singing.  Molly adapts to every style of music presented, ranging from classical works to madrigals to jazz arrangements.  She has been chosen for many solos in our chorus because of her strong technique and ability to adjust her vocal stylings to the individual pieces of music.  As well as being a gifted singer, Moly is an incredible actress and dancer.  She is also first chair flautist.  Molly surely has a fine future as a performer. 

Nofia Jarbo       
Grade 8, Ridgedale Middle School, Florham Park; Nominated by Sondra Paulson
Nofia Jarbo, a member of the Ridgedale Middle School chorus and Select Choir, began singing at age two performing for family members. Nofia progressed to sing in the children’s choir at her local church, where she was given many opportunities to hold solo performances.  She was the lead in the Christmas play and performed as a soloist during scene changes.  She was a member of the summer theatre program in her local community.  Nofia plays the piano and guitar and is an avid music student.  She is a blooming singer/songwriter.  Several of her pieces are being prepared for registration with the Library of Congress.  Nofia is compassionate, articulate and posted.  Dedicated to any role she is given, regardless of the intensity, size or nature of the part, Nofia always delivers. 

Carey Moore     
Grade 8, John Hill School, Boonton; Nominated by Yvonne Manca
Carey has been a member of the JHS choir since 4th grade.  She is consistent with rhythm and pitch and it is for these reasons she has received numerous solos.  Carey has also starred as the scarecrow for the school musical The Wizard of Oz.  Carey always enters the room with a smile on her face.  She loves to sing and it is evident.  She is an asset to the choir.

Nicole Narvaez
Grade 8, Brooklawn Middle School, Parsippany; Nominated by Tiffany Schifano
Nicole has an incredible and diverse voice.  She was accepted into Junior Region Choir for Region 1 last year and loved singing with the honors ensemble.  At Brooklawn she is the heart and soul of my alto section and is constantly assisting other students and leading with her beautiful voice and love of music.  The thing that impresses me most about Nicole is her ability to sing and appreciate every style of singing there is.  Nicole is humble and is never one to brag about her tremendous instrument.  She fiercely cheers on her fellow classmates and is always first to compliment someone else’s voice.

Caroline Nieto 
Grade 7, Pearl R. Miller Middle School, Kinnelon; Nominated by Lisa Wichman
Music is Caroline’s passion.  Not only is she an exceptional vocalist, but her skills as a flutist, guitarist, and bass guitarist are impressive as well.  Caroline is a member of the Pearl R. Miller Middle School Chorus and the PRM P.M. Choir, an auditioned after- school ensemble.  Her leadership in both choirs is unsurpassed.  A role model for other choristers, Caroline consistently demonstrates excellence in vocal music.  She has ranked #3 soprano in New Jersey Elementary All- State Choir in 2017, has participated in Morris Area Honor Choir, was a Hal Leonard Vocal Competition Finalist and has participated in numerous musical theatre productions.

Natalie Paitchel
Grade 8, Mount Olive Middle School, Budd Lake; Nominated by Joanna Scarangello
Natalie is a fantastic young woman who is so dedicated to improving her singing.  Natalie has been accepted to Morris Area Honor Choir, North Jersey Region Choir, was nominated by her peers to be Choir President, and is the most dedicated, serious choral student I have encountered in my 10 years of teaching.  Vocally, she has improved exponentially over the last year.

Grace Sittig       
Grade 8, Harding Township School, New; Nominated by Rachael Gareau
Grace is one of the most enthusiastic chorus students I have had in my 7 years at HTS.  She is a member of my middle school chorus (grade 6-8) as well as a member of an auditioned advanced choir (grade 7-8).  She has had numerous solos in concerts and leading roles in our middle school musicals.  Outside of school she participates in theatre and dance classes.  Grace is also very interested in hearing new singers and Broadway show soundtracks.

Ava Chrusciel
Grade 8, Chatham Middle School, Chatham; Nominated by Christie Spriggs
Ava is a talented and committed vocal student who has actively participated in the Chatham district’s choral program since 3rd grade.  This year she serves as captain of the CMS Glee Club, sings in 8th grade chorus and will be performing as “Violette” in the school’s All School Production, “Willy Wonka Jr.”  Ava additionally has participated outside of the school singing in the School of Rock program for the past 2 years, was cast as an ensemble member in Elefante Music’s summer production of “Annie” and is currently rehearsing for an upcoming performance of “Elf Jr.” as “Jovie” at the Summit Playhouse.  She is a dedicated student and has not only shared her vocal talent within our school district but has also provided our younger students a role model to which they can look up to. She is a vibrant and caring individual who’s dedication to her vocal studies truly merits the honor of “Vocalist of the Month”.

Sinclair Stevens
Grade 8, Black River Middle School; Chester; Nominated by Kathleen Vespignani
Sinclair has been a member of the chorus at Black River for three years, as well as a member of our Select Chorus since the sixth grade.  As this is her third year in both vocal ensembles, I have sen Sinclair blossom into a magnificent musician and performer.  She has always been a leader in her section and comes to rehearsals and performances with the utmost professionalism, enthusiasm, and respect for the art.  Sinclair has also volunteered to be an accompanist for the choruses and has been spotlighted as a soloist in our concerts.  She is an active member of the Symphonic Band and the Honors Percussion Ensemble and is an outstanding pianist.  She truly exemplifies what a great musician is!

The 2017-2018 Music Student of the Month program is supported by The Walter F. and Alice Gorham Foundation, Inc.

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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