MAY 2019
Jennifer Crusco
Communications Assistant

Concert Showcases AHA’s Instrumental Musicians & Vocalists

Demarest, NJ:The Academy of the Holy Angels’ Spring Concert was a tremendous outpouring of talent, and a bittersweet sendoff for the seniors who have invested so much in the school’s music program.

The Handbell Choir, under the baton of AHA Instrumental Music Director Mariann Annecchino, opened the concert with “Carillon and Bell Jubilee.” The group continued with a lighthearted performance of “La Donna è Mobile” that included some whimsical choreography, and concluded with “How Can I Keep from Singing.” Annecchino recognized Handbell Captain Kirsten Garino, Maria Guyre, Olivia Hagopian, Grace Velarde, and Hannah Velarde, all of whom will be graduating this month.

Members of the Jazz Ensemble entertained with “Green Onions,” “Fly Me to the Moon,” and “Blue Bossa.” Featured performers included trumpet player Hanora Chapman and alto saxophonists Timea Papp and Grace Velarde. All three of these musicians are members of the Class of 2019, as are guitarist Allison Asselbergs and bass player Jennifer Kim.

The Vocal Ensemble delighted listeners with top-flight, a cappella performances under Choral Director Lisa Marciano. “Take Me Home,” “Mother, I Will Have a Husband,” “Demons (Imagine Dragons),” and “De Profundis” were the listed selections. Additional pieces included a friendly “sing off” between the altos and the sopranos. Hanora Chapman led the altos as they performed her own arrangement of the John Denver hit “Country Road.” The sopranos responded with “Take Me Home Tonight.”

Academy Orchestra Co-concertmasters Maya Sharma and Maria Guyre led their peers in a delightful performance of “The Magic Flute Overture” and the imposing “Imperial March (Darth Vader’s Theme).” Hanora Chapman performed the trumpet solo as the orchestra played “An American in Paris Suite.” Senior Katarina Katzarov played the harp solo during the orchestra’s rendition of “In the Company of Angels.”

Senior members of the orchestra also include Gillian van der Have, Maya D’Souza, Mary Macri, Jillian Busetto, Jennifer Kim, Marina Lee, Amanda Siemsen, Timea Papp, Melanie DeRosa, and Anjianie Perez.

Soloist Juliana Dominguez opened the Academy Concert Choir’s performance with her clear, sweet introduction to “Say Amen, Somebody.” The piece also featured bright, authoritative solos by Emily Stanzione and Leah Sanchez.

The choir’s selections also included “The Seal Lullaby,” and Aaron Copeland’s amusing “I Bought Me a Cat,” which featured Mariel Bacolod as the duck and Carol Laux as the goose.

The vocalists also ventured into challenging territory as they presented “Muusika (Music)” a cappella and in Estonian.

“The Climb” featured the seniors of the choir in a timely piece about enjoying the climb up life’s many mountains. Senior performers included Alexandria Arteaga, Maria Guyre, Emily McKiernan, Emily Stanzione, Kaylin Valqui, Yasmine Carter-McTavish, Katherine Coster, Maya D’Souza, Maria Hannoush, Sofia Lopez, Hanorah Chapman, Timea Papp, Grace and Hannah Velarde, Genevieve McClean, and Victoria Sanabria.

Chapman sang the solo that was part of “Please Stay.” This piece features the words of people who have decided to persevere through their darkest days and remain among the living.

The evening concluded with an enthusiastic performance of “This Is Me” that included solos from Emily McKiernan, Victoria Sanabria, and Maria Guyre and percussion by guest musician Adam Bobroy.

After the program, the students recognized Annecchino, who leads the handbell players, jazz group, and orchestra; and Marciano, who directs the chorus and vocal ensemble. They also thanked Sister Mary Foley, SSND, and the members of her lighting and sound crew. The sound crew includes Eva Cami, Sydney Loverich, and Abigail Lovatt. Lighting and special effects are handled by Catherine Bagin, Olivia Rettew, and Samantha Romano.

Founded by the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1879, the Academy of the Holy Angels is the oldest private girls’ school in Bergen County. While AHA is steeped in Catholic tradition, this prestigious high school serves young women from a broad spectrum of cultural and religious backgrounds. Over time, thousands of women have passed through AHA’s portals. Many go on to study at some of the nation’s best universities, earning high-ranking positions in medicine, government, law, education, public service, business, arts, and athletics. The Academy’s current leaders continue to further the SSND mission to provide each student with the tools she needs to reach the fullness of her potential—spiritually, intellectually, socially, and physically, by offering a first-rate education in a nurturing environment where equal importance is placed on academic excellence, character development, moral integrity, and service to others.


Academy of the Holy Angels

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Demarest, NJ 07627

Phone: 201.768.7822

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