Program Book Insert - Music Student of the Month June 2015

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  • Christian AbarcaGrade 11, Dover High School Nominated by Chris WisemanChristian is a student in Guitar 1 class at Dover High School. He has shown tremendous growth as a guitarist and exhibits an impressive work ethic. He practices every day and has developed significant technique in several styles including rock and blues. Some of his favorite guitarists are Eric Clapton, Slash and Phil Collen (Def Leppard).

    Tyler DanielsGrade 8, Pearl R. Miller School Nominated by Brian ScanlonTyler has been a member of our schools Jazz-Rock Ensemble for each of his three years in middle school. As an electric guitar player, Tyler worked very hard to become familiar with the new demands of the Jazz based chords. Over the three years I have worked with Tyler he has taken this with stride and by 8th grade he has grown into a very competent player. He takes the time to build up his skills in a very methodical manner which leads to his high level of success. Tyler is also a percussionist in our concert band program and has a bit of experience on drum-set as well. So in closing, Tylers skills and work ethic are the reasons for me supporting him as a candidate for music student of the month.

    Shane DunnGrade 6, Pequannock Valley Middle School - Nominated by Janelle HeiseShane is a student in my sixth grade Music Fundamentals class, and we learn to play guitar as part of the course. Shane came into the class with several years of guitar lessons, but was very modest about his abilities. In class he has worked as my assistant teacher, circulating to help his classmates and check their fingers and chord positions. Outside of school he has performed in benefit concerts for cancer patients, and has a tradition of performing with an adult band every St. Patricks Day. In the classroom, he is an interested and helpful student who earns good grades. These are the reasons that I feel he deserves to be recognized.

    Connor HalmaGrade 10, Jefferson Township High School Nominated by James WynneConnor Halma is a gifted guitarist. I had the pleasure of teaching Connor during his 9th grade year in Music Technology, which he took as a result of his beginning lessons on the guitar in the Middle School. It was there that he learned rudimentary chords and technique; something which prompted him to want to learn more about the instrument. He started to take private lessons on the guitar, focusing now on classical guitar technique and repertoire. I observed his progress in this regard over the course of the last year and, I must say, his musical growth has been nothing less than remarkable. He has now joined the cast of the Olde English Feast, where he will portray a character very close to his musical tastes the Troubador.


    The 2014-2015 Music Student of the Month program is sponsored by

    The Provident Bank Foundation

  • Joe JulianoGrade 12, Randolph Township High School Nominated by David MillerI have had the pleasure of working with Joe Juliano since 2011. I have found him to be highly talented and motivated. My interactions with him have come in the setting of the Randolph Township High School Jazz Ensembles, in which Joe plays the guitar. The ensemble rehearsals focus primarily on working through the canon of the great jazz arrangers, as well as jazz improvisation. The improvisational concepts of Barry Harris and David Baker as well as the jazz canon are the crux of study. Joe has grasped these concepts and put them to use. As my student he has worked on assimilating the language of modern jazz guitar into his own playing. His guitar playing has many excellent qualities, but most importantly, Joe swings and plays with intensity and authority. Personally, I find Joe to be a fine young man of excellent character who is honest, forthright and intellectually inquisitive. It is his love of music that motivates him to achieve and it will be this same passion that will drive him to musical success.

    Joshua LustigGrade 12, Parsippany Hills High School Nominated by Gregoy DalakianJosh has played guitar in the PHS Jazz Ensemble all 4 years of his high school career. He has played guitar in all the Pit Orchestras during his years at PHS, and has even played for the Parsippany Hills HS Pit Orchestras as well. He is also the lead guitarist, composer and vocalist for the local teen favorite rock band A Boy Name John, and performs with them regularly all over the Tri-State area. They are currently working on releasing their second album. Josh is an excellent young musician and aspires to be a Music Teacher.

    Jason MonachelloGrade 8, Randolph Middle School Nominated by Kristen SiebenhuhnerJason is a guitarist in the 6-8th Grade Jazz Ensemble and a Cellist in the 7th and 8th Grade String Orchestra at Randolph Middle School. He has been playing both instruments for a number of years. This is Jasons first year in the jazz program. He has proven to be an asset to the ensemble. He is a good melodic reader as well as having a good knowledge of chords and chord voicing. At our first concert in January he performed an improvised solo in one of our concert selections. He is a confident player and is always prepared for rehearsal thus making him a good role model for the others in the ensemble. He is a genuinely nice young man and seems to have the respect of his peers.

    Skylar Vander LaanGrade 10, West Morris Central High School Nominated by Marget A. SchaeferSophomore guitarist Skylar Vander Laan has been a member of the West Morris Central High School Jazz Band for two years, and has also been playing guitar in local rock music programs. Her education in music theory, her skill at improvising, her innate sense of feel and style, and her excellent reading ability have made Skylar an indispensable part of the Jazz Band. Her duo, featuring Skylar on guitar and vocals, recently won the Acoustic Battle of the Bands at WMC. Skylars training on Bb Clarinet in band has provided her with the classical background which many high school guitar players lack, and her diverse taste in music has helped her to become a well-rounded musician.


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