IN THE NEWS: Young Performers Showcase Highlights Mount and Local Musicians

IN THE NEWS: Young Performers Showcase Highlights Mount and Local Musicians

WEST CALDWELL TWP. - Pianist Samantha Maldjian, a recent graduate of Mount St. Dominic Academy in Caldwell, won first prize in a virtual Young Performers Showcase, sponsored by the West Caldwell Public Library.

Second prize went to pianist Victor Tyne, a recent graduate of St. Peter’s Preparatory School; third prize to Thomas Viola, a French horn player and recent graduate of West Essex High School; and honorable mention to pianist Bedros Maldjian, who recently completed his sophomore year at Seton Hall Academy.

See The Progress article.

Samantha plans to attend Seton Hall University, where she is enrolled in the physician assistant’s program. Victor will attend the University of Chicago, and Thomas plans to attend the Manhattan School of Music.

A video of their performances is scheduled to air shortly on the library’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.

The contest was open to student musicians in grades 9-12 who live in the West Essex area. Each student had to have been playing a musical instrument for at least three years.

They performed two five-minute pieces, one classical and one of their choosing.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the students submitted the pieces on video. Then three judges critiqued the performances and chose the winners.

The judges were Nan Childress Orchard, chairwoman of the Music Department at Caldwell University; Randy Calistri-Yeh, a professional cellist; and Betsy Malisewski, a music professor and director of the String Ensemble at Caldwell University.

The contest was organized by a committee composed of Nancie Lederer, a West Caldwell violinist and music teacher; Michelle Petrasek, a pianist/music teacher and the library’s musical storyteller; and Ethan Galvin, a senior reference librarian.

Donations from the University Women of West Essex in honor of Constance Shick, a former member of UWWE, pianist and music teacher, and the Women’s Club of Caldwell provided monetary awards for the winners. A local patron of the arts and member of the board of trustees at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts also made a donation.

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