‘COLORS OF MUSIC’ STUDENT MURAL CONTEST WINNERS!
Local Student Artwork to Be Painted As Community Mural in White Plains
White Plains, NY– The Music Conservatory of Westchester is proud to announce that both Mya Madison Davis, 9th grader at Pelham Memorial High School, and Ciara Sergi, 9th grader at White Plains High School, are winners of the “Colors of Music” Student Mural Contest! Additional finalists were Emma Farley, of New Rochelle, grade 7, Albert Leonard Middle Schoo and Lucy Schwartzreich, of Chappaqua, grade 11, Horace Greeley High School.
Numerous entries were submitted by middle and high school students around Westchester County with the hope that their artwork would be chosen as the basis for a mural to be painted on the Music Conservatory of Westchester’s building on Central Avenue in White Plains. Four finalists were selected by an adjudication panel of art experts and creative community leaders from New York City and Westchester County.
In a tie, based on scores from all eight members of the adjudication panel, both Mya Madison Davis and Ciara Sergi were chosen as winners of the contest. They will collaborate with professional mural artist, Jonathan Villoch, to adapt their winning designs as a large-scale mural representing the theme of “Multi-Cultural Music.” Runners-up in the contest, Emma Farley of New Rochelle, 7th grader at Albert Leonard Middle School and Lucy Schwartzreich, of Chappaqua, 11th grader at Horace Greely High School will attend a mural art workshop over the summer with all four finalists. A new mural will be developed based on the winners’ designs under Jonathan Villoch’s guidance.
“Giving and getting feedback is so important to collaboration and having an open dialogue is essential for artists to communicate productively on any project,” Mr. Villoch said of this once-in-a-lifetime artistic experience.
Finalists in the contest are (in alphabetical order by last name):
- Mya Madison Davis, of Pelham, grade 9, Pelham Memorial High School
- Emma Farley, of New Rochelle, grade 7, Albert Leonard Middle School
- Lucy Schwartzreich, of Chappaqua, grade 11, Horace Greeley High School
- Ciara Sergi, of White Plains, grade 9, White Plains High School
Mya Madison Davis described her winning contest submission titled “Rainbow Rhapsody” as, “The bright colors represent diversity of people. The instruments I used are from all over the world. For example, I included a Djembe which is a drum from Africa. I also included a pan flute which originates from Colombia. I also depicted instruments that would not usually go together like a piano and an electric guitar. An important part of my painting is the silhouette of the conductor’s arms because it shows everyone from all different cultural backgrounds coming together, united in one harmony, all with a common goal.”
Ciara Sergi described her worldly entry titled “Musical Pangea”: I drew the characteristic instruments from each of the continents as a product of their traditional culture, and used their instruments to depict each continent.”
The Music Conservatory of Westchester thanks all of the talented student artist entrants in the “Colors of Music” Student Mural Contest for their exceptional creative ideas, colors, mediums, and musical and multi-cultural elements that were demonstrated to illustrate the theme.
“Each artist brought his or her creative point of view. Some artists were quite literal in their interpretation; others took the theme to another level of graphic abstraction and conceptualization,” Lynn Honeysett, former Executive Director of the Pelham Art Center said of the art entries submitted by local students for the contest. “I appreciated that all the student artists brought heart and soul to their work.”
Submissions for the “Colors of Music” Student Mural Contest, supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, were judged in two rounds by eight panelists with art expertise as well as Westchester County community leaders:
- Margaret Adasko, Curator of Education, Katonah Museum of Art
- Samantha De Tillio, Assistant Curator, Museum of Arts and Design
- Michael Dweck, Treasurer and Board Trustee, Museum of Arts and Design
- Jimmy Fink, Radio Personality and Producer at 107.1 The Peak
- Lynn Honeysett, Former Executive Director of the Pelham Art Center
- Kimberlyn V. McKoy, Gallery Associate, ArtsWestchester
- Amy R. Paulin, Assemblymember for the 88th District
- Jonathan Villoch, Professional Mural Artist, Collaborating Artist for “Colors of Music” Student Mural Contest
Conservatory Executive Director Jean Newton said, “We are very excited to unveil the finished mural, celebrate and share it with the entire community. Music and art brings people together in a way that nothing else can.”
The Music Conservatory of Westchester will celebrate the unveiling of the final mural on Sunday, September 30th, 2018 with a block party on the Conservatory’s grounds. The entire community is invited to enjoy live music, food trucks, and family fun! The Conservatory encourages all students who entered the contest to attend and share in recognizing their fellow students whose creative vision of the vibrant diversity of Westchester County and beyond will be featured as public art for the community.
The Music Conservatory of Westchester was founded in 1929 by a group of community members and renowned artists. Today, the Conservatory provides the extraordinary benefits of music to all in our community, from absolute beginners to advanced artists, with one-on-one instruction, performing ensembles, theory, composition, early childhood classes, lifelong learning for adults, and free community performances, serving 2,900 students each year from 4 months to over 80 years old. As a not-for-profit organization, the Conservatory is dedicated to serving the community and reaching out to those who would not otherwise have access. Our Scholarship Program provides tuition assistance for financially deserving students. The Music Therapy Institute brings music into the lives of 1,900 children and adults with disabilities each year through on-site and outreach programs. Healing Our Heroes offers military veterans a specialized music therapy program to help with recovery after their service. The Conservatory has inspired generations of students, and contributed to a vibrant musical life in the county, the region, and beyond.
In one sense, it’s been a lifetime coming. The young students at Byram Hills High School in Armonk have been preparing for their high school graduation not just for four years but far longer than that, growing and changing and expanding intellectually. Now, though, parents, loved ones, faculty, staff and other officials will gather to recognize their hard work as they leave behind what the Byram Hills school system had to offer and embark on their adult lives. Inside Armonk spoke to officials to get a better sense of what goes into preparing for the big day.
19 of June is when the seniors at Byram Hills High School will graduate, indoors at SUNY Purchase, a location Byram Hills Principal Chris Walsh said is “beautiful even in the worst weather.”
205 newly-minted high school graduates will take on the world. Declining enrollment is causing the population at many local high schools including Byram Hills to get slightly smaller.
1372 is the number of seats available in the hall at SUNY Purchase. The graduates, of course, will be seated on the stage. Custodians will work hard the day before and the day of the graduation in order to transport and set up risers, banners, diploma covers, and much more, according to Deepak Marwah, fine arts director at the school. Marwah helps manage logistics for the graduation. “There are a lot of moving parts,” he said.
5 is a big number for this long-awaited event; 5 speakers will address the crowd at the Byram Hills High School graduation: a valedictorian, a salutatorian, Walsh, Superintendent Jen Lamia and the president of the board of education,Robin Glat. The valedictorian and salutatorian will be determined late May, when final grades are released. “That gives them time to work on their addresses,” Walsh said. The ceremony is at 5 p.m.–and each family automatically gets 5 tickets to the event.
1 or 2 extra tickets may be had, though, depending on availability and how many requests for extra tickets come in, Walsh said. Many families have grandparents and other loved ones in town to celebrate.
97 percent and more of Byram Hills students will continue on to college – Walsh expects this year’s numbers to be close to 98 percent, but an exact number wasn’t available at press time.
4 years of fundraising by these seniors, who’ve helped with prom and graduation expenses and more, and now it’s time to present a class gift with the money they have remaining. “Last year it was a sign for our new Coffee Cafe,” Walsh said. “The year before, the class donated informational monitors for the hallway.” What’s coming from the Class of 2018? It’ll be a surprise, announced during the ceremony.
0 Regents diplomas will be awarded by Byram Hills. “We do what’s called a local diploma,” Walsh explained. “We feel like what we do is more advanced and more rigorous than a Regents diploma, but all of our students take all the Regents classes and go beyond that.”
23 AP classes are available at the alma mater of this year’s graduates, and other high-level learning opportunities such as a science research program, and in addition, a class called Perspectives in Literature, which is a two-period class that’s considered honors level.
11 months in advance, district residents are alerted of the next spring’s graduation dates when the district calendar is finalized and mailed.
45 sports teams of various levels and seasons are available at Byram Hills High School.
90 minutes or a bit more is the projected length of the graduation ceremony, with a lot packed in: besides the speeches and awarding of diplomas, there will be several pieces of music performed by the band and chorus, and the class gift presentation.
“We really take it seriously and we really think it’s important to present an event that represents all the hard work the students have put in over four years,” Walsh said.
The Byram Hills school district has many good reasons to tout the accomplishments of its music and art students.
BHHS senior John Skiera was recently invited to play the cello as a member of the All-National Symphony Orchestra.
“It is an honor to be selected for this group and I understand it is somewhat rare. I am looking forward to playing in the orchestra and with other students from around the country. It will be quite an experience,” he said recently.
The All-National Honor Ensembles performers represent collaboration and creativity in its highest musical form. The All-National Honor Ensembles consist of a concert band, symphony orchestra, mixed choir and jazz ensem-ble. Students were chosen through an audition process.
Three BHHS students have also been selected to participate in New York State School Music Association All-State Ensembles. They will perform in concerts to be held at the Eastman Theatre in Rochester, New York and work with renowned conductors and educators during the annual Winter Conference of the NYSSMA to be held from December 1-4. Students were selected based on their All-State solo performances which were adjudicated by music professionals from throughout New York State.
Finally, adjudicators from the Armonk Outdoor Art Show, a juried show of artists, selected 22 BHHS students to display their artwork at the popular annual event, which was held Sept. 23 & 24 in
All of the students selected by the AOASH are listed here: Abby Kaiser, Angelique Sarro, Kyra Aronne, Gillian Banaszek, Ben Matza, Cameron Bremner, Carley Hershaft, Chloe Perline, Sofia Corpina, Farran Horowitz, Taylor Kirkwood, Jason Knoop, Lily Moss, Michaela Milano, Olivia Johnson, Jason Roden, Rachel Ruscigno, Sarah Huang, Dina Sokol, Danielle Stein, Sydney Chilewich, Danielle Fliegel.
The freshmen at Byram Hills High School were treated recently to a wealth of information on ways to help people in countries around the world, and also close to home. At the school’s first VOX Summit, 10 service organizations made presentations to the 200 first-year high school students on projects that provide for children’s badly needed heart operations in developing nations, educate at-risk girls in Kenya and help immigrants build new lives here in Westchester, among other missions.
“My eyes are open,” freshman Cole Picca said near the end of the BHHS VOX summit. “I learned a lot.”
Organized by Melissa Stahl, chairperson of the World Languages Department, the summit was a key event in the District’s initiative to build students’ “global competency.” Stahl was joined by social studies teacher Ruben Torres, who enlisted his Student Leadership Board members to help with the event.
“The summit is intended to give students an idea of how they can use their voices to help other people,” Stahl said.
The event began with a keynote speech by Justin Buttar, founder of the British Columbia-based group Running for Hearts.
He told the students of his transformation from “a sheltered kid in White Rock, Canada” to the head of an organization that raises money through running events to fund care for children with heart defects in developing countries.
Starting Running for Hearts, he told them, “was my toughest project, but also my proudest achievement.” In breakout sessions, presenters told the students that the efforts make a difference, and can bring about change throughout a whole society. Ruthie Rosenberg of KEEP–the Katonah Education Exchange Program–described a boarding school in Kenya that protects and educates girls at risk of violence and other troubles. The school, the Kakenya Center for Excellence, is changing the way people see their community, she said.
“Really, they’re changing the thinking of the whole culture, and that’s not easy to do,” she said. The summit’s organizers plan to make it an annual event, ideally with students taking over more of the leadership in the future. Students said they came away from the presentations with ideas on how to help.
Cole said he was affected by a presentation by Bridges to Community. In the session, he heard from peers who took a service trip to Nicaragua, and who talked about how much they had learned from the people who lived there.
The residents of Nicaragua, he said, “got to teach you what their culture is about. I had never thought about it that way, so it was really eye opening for me.”
Student Taleen Postian said a key benefit of the day was in raising awareness about the ways that people can aid others.
“Now that you know that there’s some way to help, if you can’t start your own project, you can always help someone to help someone else–you can always help another organization.”
Another freshman, Jake Wild, said he was thinking of ways of using his talents –he plays guitar and sings– to help others.
“I’m happy that our school is getting into thinking about this more,” he said. Principal Chris Walsh said the event was a success.
“This fits squarely into the general direction that we are going to go in as a district and a school,” he said. “We are going to continue to find positive ways to improve our global competency.”
The organizations that took part were:
Bridges to Community
The Cookstove Project
KEEP Girls in School
My Brother’s Keeper
Ronald McDonald House
Running for Hearts
SHARE the Project