The Hartt School Community Division Class of 2017
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The Hartt School Community Division Class of 2017

LEILA BEN MAMOUN, a senior at Miss Porter’s School, is from Queens, N.Y. She has been a student in The Hartt School Community Division (HCD) since 2005 and plays bassoon, contrabassoon, and classical guitar. Leila is currently principal bassoon of the Greater Hartford Youth Wind Ensemble (GHYWE) and the Connecticut Youth Symphony (CYS), and has performed as principal bassoon in the Connecticut Northern Region Orchestra, Connecticut All-State Orchestra, All-National Honor Orchestra, and Juilliard Precollege Symphony. Outside of music, Leila is a four-year varsity volleyball player and head of the humanist alliance at Miss Porter’s, where she studies photography, painting, and astrophysics. Next year she will be double majoring in astrophysics and molecular, cellular, and development biology at Yale University.

Josh BobruffJOSH BOBRUFF, a senior at Kingswood Oxford in West Hartford, has been studying guitar with Jim Rickevicius at HCD since he was five years old. Josh is currently part of a senior guitar quartet. He is the Vice President of his senior class and an honor roll student. Josh is also a soccer captain, as well as a member of the varsity hockey and varsity lacrosse teams. In the fall, he plans on studying business and computer science at a college that he has not yet chosen.

Jenny ChenJENNY CHEN is a senior at Farmington High School. She has been studying piano under Malgosia Lis since she was five years old. She has also been playing the violin since second grade, for which she attended the Northern Regional Music Festival. Jenny frequently gets involved in her community through music. She enjoys teaching younger kids through the Suzuki Summer Strings Academy and at her local elementary school. Jenny hopes to continue both piano and violin in college.

Jenna CreightonJENNA CREIGHTON, a senior at Northwest Catholic High School, has been playing the flute for about eleven years. Her favorite hobbies include listening to film scores and composing music of her own. Jenna has played in CYS, GHYWE, Harmony Winds, and Philharmonia. She hopes to continue her involvement in music beyond high school. In the fall, Jenna will be attending Georgetown University to study English.

Eliza Derick

ELIZA DERICK has been studying the violin with HCD since she was seven years old. She began taking lessons with Calida Jones, and for the past five years she has been studying with Alexandra Hadden. She has been a member of the Suzuki string orchestras with Emmett Drake. She attends Watkinson School, where she is the concertmaster of the Upper School Ensemble. She also participates in a string chamber ensemble at Watkinson. Eliza will be receiving a second diploma from Watkinson School under the Creative Arts Program (CAP). She will be performing at the CAP Senior Show at the end of May. Eliza will be attending Clark University, where she plans to study Spanish. Eliza will continue with private lessons and orchestra throughout her college career.

Patrick DingPATRICK DING, a senior from Glastonbury High School, has been studying viola with Lee Hadden since the age of nine. He began learning viola through the Glastonbury school system and has played in many of the Suzuki orchestras. Patrick is currently a member of CYS and is also involved in the HCD chamber music program. He has participated in the Connecticut Eastern Regional and All-State festivals throughout high school. Patrick also has a passion for science and mathematics and is a member of his school’s FRC robotics team, math team, and science bowl team. In the fall, Patrick plans to study engineering at Cornell University and hopes to continue to pursue music in the future.

Avi EhrlichAVI EHRLICH, a senior at Hall High School in West Hartford, has been studying violin at HCD for 10 years, first with Jessica Meyer, and currently with Christie Felsing. Since his freshman year, he has been a member of the Hall and Conard High Schools’ honors chamber orchestra, I Giovani Solisti. Avi has been a part of Opus '89, CYS, and has participated in Northern Region orchestra during his high school career. In addition to violin, Avi plays baseball and is on the North American World Cup Downhill Mountain Bike Racing Team. Avi will attend Endicott College in the fall, majoring in Business Management.

Alora FosterALORA FOSTER, student of Melinda Daetsch, started playing the violin in first grade, then added viola in her junior year at the Ethel Walker School. Viola started out only as something to broaden her horizons, but it is now her primary instrument. She enjoys playing at church events and in her school's orchestra and mini ensembles. Attending the Ogontz Suzuki Institute in New Hampshire in the summer is something she's been doing for the past eight years, and it continues to be one of her favorite pastimes with my instruments. Here at HCD, Alora has played with Opus '89 and the Viola Tour Group.

KATIE GAGNON is a senior at Glastonbury High School. She plays the flute in GHYWE, has played in the flute summer master classes and in Philharmonia, and participates in competitive dance. She will be attending Hamilton College in the fall to study chemistry.

Katie Gagnon

Gioia GedicksGIOIA GEDICKS has enjoyed her 13 years of violin study. As a Suzuki student at HCD, she has studied with Cynthia Knotts, Teri Einfeldt, and Katie Lansdale. She participated in master classes with Edward Cumming, Joseph Lin, Peter Winograd, William Boughton, and Susan Reed. At age 10, she represented HCD on the television program Better Connecticut, and since then, she has been concertmistress with Opus '89 and CYS, participated in many chamber groups, Junior and Senior Honors recitals, HCD’s intensive Performer's Certificate Program, and has been the recipient of the John Jorgensen Memorial Award. Gioia won the Lee Strebel Memorial Youth Concerto Competition (Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, Ithaca, N.Y.), the Rhodes Competition (Springfield Symphony, Springfield, Mass.), and was named alternate to the national finals of the Music Teachers National Association Competition. She has performed in pit orchestras for multiple musical productions. Since 2014, Gioia has collaborated on, performed on, and released an album and single with a singer/songwriter duo called Charles Paul. She frequently plays for church services and other community events. Aside from the violin, for 10 years, Gioia has been a member of the Connecticut Children’s Chorus and has sung for multiple national conferences, as well as other benefit concerts. An active member of her drama club, Gioia has been in multiple musical theater and drama productions. She also rigorously pursues the study of German. Gioia is schooled at home. This fall, she will be attending the Boston Conservatory at Berklee pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance.

Richard HansenRICHARD HANSEN, a senior at Northwest Catholic High School, has studied guitar with Jim Rickevicius at HCD since age four. Richard has performed as part of the annual Hartt Guitar and Harp Honors Recital for 11 years and has also been a member of several chamber music guitar ensembles. In addition to his love of music, Richard is a multi-sport athlete at Northwest Catholic on the Varsity Football and Varsity Baseball teams. He will attend Marquette University in the Fall of 2017, where he plans to major in Biomedical Sciences as part of the Physicians’ Assistant program. He will also continue with private guitar lessons and potentially earn a minor in music. Richard is extremely grateful to have Jim by his side providing exemplary instruction, mentoring and support throughout this musical journey.

Amelia HernAMELIA HERN is a senior at Suffield Academy. She has taken piano lessons at HCD for 11 years, where she trained classically with Malgosia Lis before deciding to explore jazz/contemporary piano with Greg Babal. Outside of Hartt, she also studies classical flute and jazz alto saxophone and loves to sing and play guitar. She has participated in the Northern Regional concert band with flute throughout her high school career. At school, Amelia is the teacher's assistant of the advanced jazz ensemble and leads a student rock group. She has participated in the school musical all four years and is a Connecticut Halo Award winner. She is also very involved in the music ministry at Holy Family Monastery. During the summer, she attends Litchfield Jazz Camp to further her saxophone studies, and will be a resident assistant there this year. She is the captain of the cross country and track teams and has a passion for biology, especially neuroscience. Amelia is extremely grateful for the guidance she received from Malgosia Lis, who encouraged her to expand her piano knowledge to the jazz realm, and Greg Babal, who helped her to develop as a creative musician by providing opportunities to work on arranging and improvisation. Amelia is thrilled to be pursuing her passions of science and music at Tufts University in the fall.

Hannah HervieuxHANNAH HERVIEUX has been playing piano since the age of three and HCD at the age of seven. She has participated in piano lessons with Ruriko Wheeler since then, partaking in the Performer's Certificate Program and the Piano Honors Program. She joined CCC in fourth grade, starting in Prelude Choir, and has sang her way up to Primi Voci. She has enjoyed every minute of rehearsals and performances with the phenomenal professionals and musicians she has had the pleasure of working with. Greatest thanks to her parents for dedicating so much of their time to her musical education, her amazing piano teacher Ruriko Wheeler, Mark Singleton, Katie Bonner-Russo, Benjamin Rausch, Glastonbury High School Choir Director Ethan Nash, friends of HCD, and all of the individuals who helped to shape her unforgettable experience at HCD. Hannah will be attending Bucknell University, where she plans to study music education.

KARINA HEYE-SMITH, a senior at Hall High School, began Suzuki violin at the Neighborhood Music School in New Haven at age four. After moving to West Hartford in third grade, she began her studies at HCD, first studying with Diane Slone and then Annalise Ohse. Karina has been a member of the many Hartt Suzuki orchestras, as well as Opus '89 and CYS. She is currently continuing her private violin studies with HCD faculty Sarah Washburn as well as participating in a trio. She plans to continue playing violin in her college orchestra and/or chamber group at Brown University.

Joon KimJOON KIM, a senior at Miss Porter's School, has been studying violin with Katalin Viszmeg at HCD for six years. Outside of HCD, she performs with the Farmington Valley Symphony Orchestra, a Farmington-based community volunteer orchestra, and is involved in several school musical ensembles. Joon is currently playing with CYS and throughout high school has participated in several Northern Region and New England Music Festivals. Outside of violin, she is a member of her school's varsity swim and crew teams, and co-heads the school peer tutoring center, international outreach club, and divestment committee. In the fall, she plans to continue violin at Vanderbilt University, where she will be studying biochemistry and chemical biology.

Katrina MasonKATRINA MASON, a senior at Farmington High School, enjoys music and art and has been playing instruments since a young age. She is currently playing viola in a chamber music group under the direction of Mickey Reisman. In the past, Katrina has attended the David Einfeldt Chamber Music Seminar, Summer Master Classes and played in CYS. She looks forward to attending Champlain College next year to study game art and animation.

Lucy MetzLUCY METZ plays the flute in the GHYWE, sings, and is president of the Tri-M Music Honor Society at Longmeadow High School. She also enjoys running, reading, learning physics, and spending time with friends. This fall, she will spend a "gap year" working as a residential volunteer at Heifer International's farm in Rutland, Mass. Then, Lucy will be attending Smith College, where she plans to study either engineering or physics. Lucy is grateful for her time at HCD, and she hopes to continue her involvement in music for many years to come. 

HUNTER ELAN NAGER, cello student of Neal Humphreys, is a Latin scholar, sprinter, and thrower on the fields of Conard High School, and holds a black belt in TaeKwonDo. He has also raised German Shepherds for Fidelco, volunteered with Veterans and Special Needs, become a member of his school’s World Language and Honor Society, and studied cello for the past nine years. Hunter plans to study biology, psychology, and neurobiology at Marist College.

Armani NievesARMANI NIEVES is a senior at Hall High School in West Hartford. He has played cello since second grade. Armani has been extremely grateful to study with Carlynn Savot, Katie Kennedy, and Carmen Irons. He is an active member of the community, volunteering to teach second graders in Hartford about music. Other than music, Armani has a strong passion for business. He is President of the Business Club at Hall, Vice President of the National Business Honors Society Hall Chapter, and advocate for financial literacy. Armani intends to major in finance.

Lucia PalladinoLUCIA PALLADINO is a senior at South Windsor High School, where she is the vocal captain of its show choir, Choral Spectrum. Lucia studies voice with Nancy Andersen at HCD, where she is also a member of the CCC's Primi Voci. She has participated in the Summer Musical Theater Intensive for five consecutive years and has played various roles in school musical productions, including the title role in Mary Poppins. Lucia has performed in the All-National Honors Choir, Eastern Division Honors Choir, the Connecticut All-State Music Festival, the Connecticut Eastern Region Music Festival, and the New England Music Festival. Lucia also has performed numerous times with Connecticut Concert Ballet, attended the French Academie of Ballet Summer Intensive in New York City, and the Burklyn Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive in Vermont. She is a 2017 recipient of the Connecticut Association of Schools High School Arts Award. Lucia will be attending Belmont University in the fall to study vocal performance. Lucia would like to thank Nancy Andersen for her continued support and encouragement.

ELLEANA PARADISE is a senior at Northwest Catholic High School. She began at HCD at the age of seven as a violin student, but in fifth grade fell in love with the cello and has been studying with Harmon Steiner ever since. Harmon has been an inspiration and an amazing mentor, only deepening Elleana’s love of the cello. Elleana also studied the trumpet at HCD with Nancy Brown, performing in chamber ensembles and Harmony Winds under Alan Francis. Elleana plays in the West Hartford Symphony Orchestra and spends her summers playing for the elderly and retired nuns and priests. Elleana also plays for the Junior Women’s Wolfpack hockey team. Elleana is attending college in the fall in the Honors Biomedical Engineering program. She plans to continue her love of the cello playing in her college symphony.

Bethany PelletierBETHANY PELLETIER, a senior at Plainville High school and member of the CCC's Primi Voci, was fortunate to find the CCC through her elementary school music teacher. She has since grown up surrounded by positive and musical influences. “I have not only learned about music, but also about the importance of determination, persistence, and attention to detail." she says. "Over the years I have found through the program that while people you meet may be different, by cooperating we can still create beautiful harmony.” Bethany plans to study biology at UConn this fall.

Pearl RourkePEARL ROURKE is a harp honors student who has played the harp for 13 years. Pearl is a student in the prestigious Performer’s Certificate Program. As a soloist, she has performed in numerous recitals. Pearl was featured on West Hartford Community Television in a program titled Many Strings Attached. She has had the honor of playing for the Hartt School Collegiate Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Edward Cumming for the past three years. Pearl is the principal harpist for CYS under the direction of Daniel D’Addio. She has performed with Capitol Winds, the National Association for Music Education, COMPASS and the Valley Community Baptist Orchestra. In addition, Pearl has played chamber music in a harp and violin duet, as well as performing in numerous harp ensembles. She has had the honor of playing at The Bushnell and the Wadsworth Atheneum. Pearl has performed at the Guitar and Harp Honors Recitals. She was the recipient of the Beatrice Sewell Scholarship. She has studied Musicianship and Conducting Basics. Pearl was also an honor student at the Connecticut Valley Harp Intensive. She has also performed in numerous private venues and community service events. Pearl graciously thanks her teachers Susan Knapp Thomas and Grace Cloutier. Pearl plans on studying music and political science at Trinity College.

DAVID SATTLER, a senior at East Hampton High School and trombone student of Jordan Jacobson, participated in various music groups at HCD for 7 years, most recently with GHYWE for 3 years. He has been part of his high school concert and jazz bands as well as participating in Southern Regionals for 4 years, All-State for 2 years, the All-National Honors Concert Band and the All-Eastern Honors Concert Band. David will be in the physician assistant program at Seton Hall University this fall.

Zachary SaundersZACHARY SAUNDERS, a senior at Newington High School (NHS), started his love for music in fourth grade playing the euphonium, then quickly moving up to the tuba and bass trombone. He is a member of the Tri-M Honor Society, Wind Ensemble, Marching Band and Jazz Band at NHS. He has participated in multiple Northern Regional Music Festivals and also performed with the John Philip Sousa National Honor Band. He has enjoyed being a part of the Philharmonia Winds & GHYWE at HCD for the past 5 years. He’ll be heading to Roger Williams University where he plans to study business.

KYLE SMITH has been with the Connecticut Children's Choir for over 10 years. Ever since joining in second grade, music has always been a huge part of his life. He will be pursuing nursing studies at UConn with plans to focus on dermatology.

NICOLE SOUZA, a senior at Conard High School, plays oboe in GHYWE. She enjoys classical and baroque music as well as spending time with her pets. Nicole will be attending UConn this fall.

Nicole Souza

Jenna St. DenisJENNA ST. DENIS, a senior at South Windsor High School, has been playing double bass since fourth grade. Throughout her middle and high school years, she participated in many ensembles, including show choir band, orchestra, chamber orchestra, and jazz band. In addition to playing the bass, she plays violin, viola, ukulele, guitar, and piano. Jenna also enjoys singing and participated in school musicals all four years of high school. She was accepted into the auditioned treble choir her senior year. Through HCD, Jenna has participated in the Bass Ensemble, Opus ‘89, and CYS. She was selected to participate in Eastern Regionals, Connecticut All-State, and the New England Music Festival Association orchestras every year that she auditioned, sitting principal chair for all three her senior year. Jenna has been studying bass privately throughout high school with Douglas Lemke, and more recently Susan Powell. Both have provided her with countless opportunities, including performing with the Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra and working as a student bass intern at the Simsbury Arts Academy in the summer of 2016. Jenna will be attending the Berklee College of Music with a double major in music therapy and performance, hoping she can touch someone's life with music like it has touched hers.

Claudia SurprenantCLAUDIA SURPRENANT of South Windsor is a senior at Miss Porter's School. Over the past four years, she has enjoyed managing the varsity soccer team, as well as sharing her music with the Porter's community. She is excited to be entering Assumption College in the fall and plans to continue her music education as well as community service. Claudia began studying Suzuki violin at age four and has been in the studios of Liz Fay, Donna Ngai, and most recently, Sam Hiller Drake. Claudia is grateful for the many friendships she has made and for the skillful and dedicated teachers who have taught her in private, group and orchestra settings.

Alanna UthgenanntALANNA UTHGENANNT has been studying trumpet with Larry Gareau for seven years. In that time, she was a member of her school's jazz bands at both Sedgwick Middle School and Conard High School. Alanna just returned from Eurotour with the Concert Jazz Band at Conard. This year's tour included stops in Prague, Czech Republic, Salzburg, Austria, Ljubljana, Slovenia, and Venice, and Italy, where the Jazz Band played many concerts. Alanna will attend Wellesley College in Wellesley, Mass., this coming fall, where she plans to study political science and will row for the crew team. She hopes to make time for trumpet while at school.

Yi Lin WangYI LIN WANG was born in China and moved to Texas at the age of three. When Yi Lin was six, he moved to West Hartford. He first started playing the violin in fourth grade and began private lessons at HCD in fifth grade. He joined HCD at the beginning of high school, when he started to participate in some of the HCD ensembles, like Opus '89, CYS, and chamber groups, where he met many of his current friends. Yi Lin studies privately with HCD faculty Janet Jacobson. He is extremely grateful for the opportunities to meet people and form close bonds that music has provided. He has also been blessed with the opportunity to travel abroad, to places like Canada with Opus, and to Portugal and Spain with I Giovani Solisti, his high school chamber orchestra. Yi Lin will be at Harvard University in the fall, where he plans to study mathematics or computer science.

Marissa WardMARISSA WARD, a senior at Simsbury High School, has been dancing for 14 years, nine of those at HCD. In past years she competed in the Youth America Grand Prix as well as the Connecticut Classic dance competitions. She was honored to receive the Francine Goldfarb Scholarship in 2013. Marissa has performed newly choreographed works at HCD by teachers such as Susannah Marchese, Samantha Dunster, Stephen Pier, Katie Stevenson-Nollet, and Becky DeNies. She has participated many summer intensives, including HCD's From Studio to Stage, the Walnut Hill Summer Youth Dance, the Boston Ballet Summer Dance Program, and Miami City Ballet. Some of her favorite roles and variations include the Sugar Plum Fairy in the Nutcracker, Odile in Swan Princess, the lead shop girl in The Red Shoes, Paquita variations, and the female solo from Tschaikovsky Pas de Deux. She will be pursuing her BFA in Dance Performance at the University of Hartford's Hartt School. 

Sydney WeiserSYDNEY WEISER, a student at both Hall High School and the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, has studied voice at HCD for the past six years and will continue her vocal studies at Marymount Manhattan College in their musical theatre program in the fall. Sydney is also an Ensign-Darling fellow, a Bel Canto recipient, and an Andersen Award recipient. Additionally, she won the award for Outstanding Actress in a Leading Role through the Connecticut High School Musical Theatre Awards for her performance as Maria in West Side Story. Sydney thanks Nancy Andersen, Greg Babal, Emmett Drake, Susan Mardinly, Arthur Villar, and Dan Hartington for everything they have taught her over the years.