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March 19, 2014


Freeholder Leonard Luciano (3rd Row, 2nd Left) and Freeholder Vice President Patricia Sebold (2nd Row, Far Right) sponsored and presented the Board’s commendation to Millburn High School Students who were selected to participate in the New Jersey All-State Ensembles.  Also pictured above are Choral Director Rodrigo Vega (Front Row, Far Left) and Director of Bands Mindy Scheierman (3rd Row, Far Left).   PHOTO BY GLEN FRIESON

(Newark, NJ) – During its Wednesday, March 19th, meeting held at the Hall of Records, The Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders honored Millburn High School Students who earned positions in the highly selective New Jersey All-State Orchestra, Jazz, Band, Wind and Chorus Ensembles.  The Board’s commendation was sponsored and presented to the students and their teachers by District 4 Freeholder Leonard Luciano who resides in West Caldwell and At-Large Freeholder Vice President Patricia Sebold who resides in Livingston.

Freeholder Luciano applauded the students on their accomplishments and admonished as an educator himself, “It is heartwarming and encouraging seeing students who “Get It” by honing into the hype of “practice makes perfect””.  He further stated, “The results have come to fruition by your accomplishment through hard-work, to be the few out of hundreds who competed for the seats that you now hold.” Freeholder Vice President Sebold shared her sentiments of delight as well, having retired from a fruitful teaching career of over 30 years at West Orange High School she affirmed that education is still very dear to her heart, as she shared highlights from the commendation.

The New Jersey All-State Ensembles are sponsored by the New Jersey Music Educators Association (NJMEA) who promotes the advancement of music instruction in New Jersey’s educational institutions at all levels. In support of its mission, the NJMEA believes that the finest possible education in music should be available to every student in the state and that every student should have an equal opportunity to study music.

The selection process for the All-State Ensembles begins with the student's initial acceptance into the North Jersey Region 1 ensemble for their particular discipline.  Students then compete for acceptance into the All-State Ensembles. These students who are selected are considered to be the best high school musicians in the state.  Hundreds of student musicians, representing dozens of schools throughout the state audition each year for these prestigious ensembles with only those receiving the highest scores gaining membership.

The All-State Ensembles have opportunities to perform at several venues throughout the state including; the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City during the annual NJEA Convention and Symphony Hall in Newark, to name a few.

The Millburn High School music department is led by John Leahey, Director of Music and supported by Karen Conrad, Orchestra Director; Rodrigo Vega, Choral Director; Mindy Scheierman, Director of Bands and Matthew Spatz, Associate Director of Bands.  The Millburn High School Students who earned New Jersey All-State Ensemble positions  are comprised of the following members: NJ All-State Band Louis Danowsky, Ellim Kim, Elyse Kuo and William Xu; NJ All-State Chorus Ambika Chetal, Lily Jacobs, Arielle Kasnetz, Yifei Li and Carly Maitlin; NJ All-State Jazz Louis Danowsky; NJ All-State Orchestra Alex Brod, Grant Gardner, Austin Jia, Nathaneal Kim, Elyse Kuo, Christopher Li, Conor O’Hale and Matthew Wolffe; and NJ All-State Wind Ensemble Matthew Wolffe and Maurice Wong.

In acceptance of the commendation, Rodrigo Vega, Choral Director who accompanied the students, stated how proud he was of the students and feels lucky to be able to work with them on a regular basis. Mindy Scheierman, Director of Bands was also present and acknowledged the students who were unable to attend the presentation.


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For Additional Information:
Kathy R. Brown, Research Analyst
Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders



Board of Chosen Freeholders, County of Essex
Hall of Records - Room 558, 465 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd., Newark, New Jersey 07102
Tel: (973) 621-4486 Fax: (973) 621-5695