September 2018
Jennifer Crusco
Communications Assistant

Vocalists Raise Funds to Send Special Needs Children to Lourdes

Demarest, NJ: Emily Stanzione, Olivia Polise, and Caitlin Neville pooled their vocal talents to help send special needs children and young adults to Lourdes, France. This month, these three AHA students and 10 other teens presented “This Is Me,” a benefit concert at Saint Therese Church in Cresskill. Their efforts, guided by the church music directors, netted funds for the American Special Children’s Pilgrimage Group, which will host a trip to Lourdes at no cost to the participants’ families.

This year was the 10th benefit concert produced at the church. The program included ensemble pieces, solos, duets, trios, quartets, and a cappella pieces. As they organize the concert, the performers discuss how their selections relate to their theme and cause.

Selections included "It's Quiet Uptown" from “Hamilton,” "I Have Nothing," "My Heart Will Go On," "Waving through a Window" from “Dear Evan Hansen,” "Found/Tonight" by Ben Platt and Lin-Manuel Miranda, and "Hallelujah."

“These pieces were all chosen because they express a meaning of hope, love, and compassion. They are meant to bring awareness to certain events in our world as well as uplift people and let them know it is okay to be yourself,” Stanzione explained. “For example, I chose ‘It's Quiet Uptown’ because it is about how we don't always know what people are going through, so we must always be understanding or the actions or conditions of others.”

Stanzione is a resident of Maywood and a member of the AHA Class of 2019. Polise and Neville reside in Dumont, and will graduate in 2021 and 2022, respectively.

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.


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