Success Stories

Explore Recent News and Success Stories about MSM Students, Alumni, and Faculty.

  • Mar 28, 2021Precollege

    National Association of Teachers of Singing Eastern Region name four MSM Precollege students as award-winners

    The MSM Precollege student award winners are:

    Lower High School Music Theater Treble Voice

    Honorable Mentioned – Lauren Marchand – Student of Giuseppe Spoletini

    Upper High School Musical Theater Treble Voice

    2nd Place – Meghna Das – Student of Jeanai La Vita

    Upper High School Tenor Bass Baritone – Classical

    3rd Place – Henry Hsiao – Student of Jeanai La Vita

    Learn more here.

  • Mar 27, 2021Precollege

    Precollege student Alex Cha wins 2nd place in NJ Youth Symphony Concerto Competition.

    Precollege student Alex Cha (top left in photo), Precollege student of Jo-Ann Sternberg, won second place in the annual NJ Youth Symphony Concerto Competition.

    The annual competition for members of the NJYS Youth Symphony was held virtually this year, with 19 entrants performing for guest adjudicators Ilmar Gavilan, violinist of Harlem Quartet, and Mark Laycock, professor of orchestral studies at Wichita State University.

    Learn more here.

  • Feb 4, 2021Precollege

    The Garden State Philharmonic names former MSM Precollege student as President of the Board

    Dr. Nancy Mezey, the Dean of the Honors School at Monmouth University, has been appointed as the President of the Board of The Garden State Philharmonic, the critically acclaimed professional orchestra that is “Orchestra in Residence” at Ocean County College in Tom’s River.

    In addition to the professional orchestra, the GSP sponsors a three-tiered Youth Orchestra program comprised of more than 100 students between the ages of eight and 21, and an auditioned Community Chorus.

    Learn more about Dr. Mezey’s appointment here.

  • Dec 8, 2020Precollege

    Precollege students place first and second in NY Young Virtuoso Competition

    Two students of pianist Robin Freund-Epstein were named winners in the New York Young Virtuoso Competition, which took place virtually this year. Jeffrey Li, age twelve, won first prize in his age category, and Aaron Liu won second prize in the category.

    Due to the ongoing global health crisis, winners recitals have been postponed indefinitely. You can view the full list of winners here.

  • Dec 3, 2020Precollege

    MSM Precollege students among 2021 YoungArts Winners

    Five Precollege students have been selected as winners by the National YoungArts Foundation, one of the most comprehensive programs for emerging artists in the United States. Meghna Das was named a Finalist in the Popular Voice, Oliver D’Avolio received a Merit Award in Jazz Piano, Eugene Hong earned a Merit Award in Classical Piano, Olivia Park won a Merit Award in the Singer-Songwriter division, and Jack Towse acquired a Finalist spot in Jazz Trumpet.

    Winners are chosen for their caliber of artistic achievement by esteemed discipline-specific panels of artists through a rigorous blind adjudication process and are awarded in three categories: Finalist, Honorable Mention and Merit. You can view the full list of winners here.


  • Dec 1, 2020Music History

    Pianist Kariné Poghosyan celebrates “Beethoven in C” with December concert series

    Kariné Poghosyan, a member of the Music History (College) and Piano (Precollege) faculty, will perform works by Beethoven during her weekly virtual concerts throughout the month of December.

    Armenian Weekly writes, “In honor of Beethoven’s 250th anniversary, Ms. Poghosyan had originally scheduled her annual Beethoven’s Birthday Concert for Carnegie Hall. But, when that was cancelled due to the pandemic she was determined that the show must go online.”

    The concerts are free with the option of sending voluntary contributions to the artist. You can watch them live each Friday at 8pm EST on Ms. Poghosyan’s Facebook page.

  • Nov 15, 2020Precollege

    Lauren Marchand wins Schmidt Vocal Arts Competition

    Precollege student Lauren Marchand received the “Most Promising Sophomore” award during the Schmidt Vocal Arts Competition, an honor given to the highest scoring participant in the sophomore group.

    The Schmidt Vocal Competition reaches more than 400 students each year and takes place in 17 locations throughout the U.S. The day-long competition affords singers an opportunity to perform live in front of an audience for the chance to win cash awards and scholarships, and offers coaching and master class training with premier artists. Learn more about the competition here.

  • Sep 28, 2020Precollege

    Ole Akahoshi joins Horszowski Trio

    Last month, the New York-based Horszowski Trio announced the appointment of MSM Precollege faculty member Ole Akahoshi to the ensemble. Akahoshi will replace cellist Raman Ramakrishnan, who performed with the ensemble for the past nine years.

    Of his new position, Ole write: “I have been admiring the Horszowski Trio for many years and being on stage with them has always been a tremendously invigorating, inspiring, and highly gratifying experience for me.”

    Read the full press release from The Violin Channel here.

  • Aug 31, 2020Precollege

    Precollege faculty members talk teaching in the time of COVID-19 in NATS Journal

    Precollege faculty members Jane Olian and Donna Gill were interviewed by Margo Garrett of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Journal about creative collaboration and technology in the time of COVID-19. In the interview, Jane and Donna talk about how their work as teachers and coaches has changed in the wake of the pandemic.

    Garret writes, “Donna and Jane both feel sustained by the fact that they are teaching in these days, that the students are ever hungry to learn, and that they themselves are doing OK—because they are teaching. Teachers and students need each other in these difficult days, it seems.” Read the full story here.

  • May 21, 2020Precollege

    Bejamin Rossen named 2020 Presidential Scholar

    Precollege alumnus Benjamin Rossen, piano student of Jeffrey Cohen, has been named a 2020 Presidential Scholar by the US Department of Education. The 56th class of U.S. Presidential Scholars was announced today, recognizing 161 high school seniors for their accomplishments in academics, the arts, and career and technical education fields.

    The White House Commission on Presidential Scholars selects scholars annually based on their academic success, artistic and technical excellence, essays, school evaluations, and transcripts, as well as evidence of community service, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to high ideals.

    Read the full press release here.

  • May 2, 2020Precollege

    SoHyun Ko to perform on THE CALL TO UNITE

    Precollege violin student SoHyun Ko will be performing today, May 2 from 11:00am to 12:00pm on UNITE in support of efforts in the Global Pandemic. Ko currently studies with Pinchas Zukerman and Patinka Kopec at MSM Precollege. SoHyun is also the Adelphi Orchestra Sixteenth Annual Young Artist Competition Winner, and is scheduled to with them in the upcoming year.

    Read the New Jersey Stage press release here.

  • Apr 28, 2020Precollege

    Precollege students to perform in Chamber Music Society concert

    Precollege students Oren Tirschwell, violin and Marie Wurtz, piano will be showcased in their high school piano trio on the Chamber Music Society’s 37th Young Musician Concert. The trio is coached by MSM Precollege faculty member Carmel Lowenthal.

    CMS will be streaming the recorded performances from the second round of their competition on Thursday, April 30 at 11am EST. You can watch the stream here.

  • Apr 22, 2020Precollege

    Precollege students perform in Hal Leonard Vocal Competition

    Three Precollege voice students placed in the final and semi-final rounds in the 2020 Hal Leonard Vocal Competition in the High School Musical Theatre Category. Olivia Park, student of Jeanai La Vita, advanced to the final round of the competition. Meghna Das (student of Jeanai La Vita) and Ashley Schlusselberg (student of Kelly Sawatsky) made it to the semi-final round.

    Over 1100 singers enter from all over the US and Canada in the eight categories of competition. Over 150 singers entered the High School Musical Theatre category. You can listen to the winning performances from Olivia, Meghna, and Ashley here.

  • Apr 16, 2020Precollege

    Precollege voice students place in NATS competition

    Earlier this month, the National Association of Teachers Singing (NATS) announced the winners of their Eastern region competition. Among the winners are three MSM Precollege voice students of Jeanai La Vita. Henry Hsiao won 1st place in Lower High School Classical TBB Voice, Kate Vandermel won 2nd place in Upper High School Classical Treble Voice and Meghna Das was a top 5 finalist in Upper High School Musical Theater Treble Voice. All of them qualified to move onto the NATS National Student Auditions (NSA) competition in late June in Knoxville.

    Learn more about NATS competitions here.

  • Mar 19, 2020Precollege

    Charlie Puth performs in #TogetherAtHome series to promote social distancing

    MSM Precollege alumnus Charlie Puth performed a concert live on Instagram as part of Global Citizen and World Health Organization’s #TogetherAtHome series. You can watch the mini-concert on his Charlie’s Instagram profile.

    “Together, At Home” was designed to promote unity amid the COVID-19 pandemic’s social distancing protocols. Previous performers include John Legend and Chris Martin of Coldplay. Learn more about the series and future performers here.

  • Mar 9, 2020Precollege

    Dianne Flagello receives Music Educator Award

    Former Precollege Director and Alumni Advisory Council Member Director Dianne Flagello (BM ’52, MM ’52, HonDMA ’99) received the Distinguished Music Educator Award from JCC Thurnauer School of Music last month at their 30th Gift of Music Gala Benefit Concert. Read more about the event here.

    During her time as a student at Manhattan School of Music, Dianne studied Percussion and Music Education. She returned to her alma mater in 1974 as director of MSM Precollege, known then as MSM’s Preparatory Division, until 1999. Dianne is currently an active member of the Alumni Advisory Council.

  • Mar 2, 2020College

    MSM Students and Alumni receive 2020 Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award

    Four MSM students and alumni were recently named recipients of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) 2020 Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award.

    Angelo Di Loreto (MM ’13, Jazz Piano)
    Eliana Fishbeyn (MM ’21, Jazz Composition)
    Rin Seo (MM ’20, Jazz Composition)
    Matthew Whitaker (Precollege alum)

    The program was established in 2002 to encourage young gifted jazz composers up to the age of 30. It carries the name of the great trumpeter and ASCAP member Herb Alpert in recognition of The Herb Alpert Foundation’s multi-year financial commitment to the program. The recipients, who receive cash awards, range in age from 17 to 29 and are selected through a juried national competition. For more information, visit their website.

  • Feb 24, 2020Jazz

    Precollege alum Matthew Whitaker featured on 60 Minutes

    Former precollege student Matthew Whitaker was inteviewed on CBS’s 60 Minutes during February 23rd’s feature segment. Matthew is a jazz pianist who is blind, and since the age of 11, has been performing around the world. Called a prodigy with extraordinary talent, he has caught the attention of scientists who are now studying his brain and trying to understand his vision of music.

    For Matthew’s full story, visit CBS’s website for the segment and article.

  • Feb 19, 2020Precollege

    Precollege student Giorgio Poma wins LaGuardia Concerto competition

    Precollege cellist and student of Marion Feldman Giorgio Poma recently won the LaGuardia High School Performing Arts Concerto competition. He will play as a soloist with LaGuardia Symphony Orchestra on April 3, 2020.

    For information regarding the concert, visit LaGuardia High School’s website.

  • Feb 18, 2020Education

    Several Precollege students of Jeanai La Vita to receive high honors

    On February 9th, 2020, the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) held their prestigious competition for young vocal artists in which several MSM Precollege voice students of Jeanai La Vita placed. The honors and students are listed below:

    Kate Vandermel 1st place Upper High School Classical
    Bonita Pan 2nd place Upper High School Classical
    Meghna Das 1st place Upper High School Musical Theatre
    Henry Hsiao 2nd place Lower High School Classical
    Karly Chan 3rd place Lower High School Classical
    Stephanie Lopez 2nd place Lower High School Musical Theatre
    Franziska Diefenbach 1st place Youth
    Amy Wang 1st place Lower College Classical

    The NATS Artist Awards competition is designed to assist singers prepared to launch a professional career and, to that end, substantial monetary and performance prizes are offered. For more information regarding the competition, visit their website.

  • Feb 18, 2020Piano

    Eleven-year-old Cary Wang featured in Daily Voice Plus

    Cary Wang, Precollege piano student of Jeffrey Cohen, made his piano debut at the age of six with Claude Debussy’s Le Petit Nègre at Carnegie Hall in December 2015 and it has only gone up from here—having won first prize in national and international piano competitions. And in December 2018, he won a competitive Manhattan School of Music Annual Concerto Competition — the youngest performer in the 10-to-13-year-old age group — with his performance of Mozart’s Concerto No. 21 in C Major, K. 467, 3rd Movement.

    The young pianist was featured in Daily Voice Plus given his astounding accomplishments; the full article can be found here.

  • Jan 17, 2020Precollege

    Precollege alumnus appointed as concertmaster of ISO

    Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra announced the appointment of Kevin Lin, Precollege alumnus and student of Patinka Kopec, this week.

    Kevin currently serves as Co-Leader of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and has previously been a Guest Concertmaster with the Pittsburgh, Houston and Cincinnati Symphonies.

    “I’m extremely excited and honored to join the Indianapolis Symphony … it’s been a pleasure getting to know the musicians and the community of the ISO … I look forward to many memorable years of music making,” Lin said.

    Read the full release on The Violin Channel.

  • Jan 14, 2020Precollege

    Precollege student wins first prize at Golden Classical

    Connor Tsui, Precollege cello student of Ole Akahoshi, has won first prize at the Golden Classical Music Competition. As a prize winner, Connor will play at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall on March 10th at 8 p.m. You can learn more about the concert and purchase tickets here.

    Golden Classical Music Awards International Competition is open to all nationalities and ages in strings, piano, wind and vocal each discipline is divided into different age categories. Their purpose is to discover artists of outstanding personality and provide awards which can help to launch international careers.

  • Dec 30, 2019Precollege

    Charlie Puth performs on Sesame Street

    Precollege alumnus and Grammy-nominated musician Charlie Puth performed on the PBS staple, Sesame Street, earlier this month. In the video segment (available to watch here), Charlie teaches muppets Grover, Elmo, Abby, and Cookie Monster how to sing aloud as they perform a classic song from the show.

    A pop musician who advanced from YouTube likes to RIAA certifications, Charlie Puth has regularly achieved multi-platinum status on his own and with high profile collaborators. He released his debut album Nine Track Mind in 2016 and his second full length album Voicenotes in 2018.

  • Dec 10, 2019Precollege

    14 Precollege students and alumni selected as 2020 YoungArts winners

    YoungArts award winners—686 of the nation’s most accomplished young artists from 40 states in the visual, literary and performing arts—gain access to one of the most prestigious programs for emerging artists in the United States in which they will have opportunities for creative and professional development throughout their entire careers. View the full list of winners here.

    Congratulations to the following MSM Precollege students and alumni selected as 2020 YoungArts winners:

    Jason Arkins+, jazz baritone saxophone – finalist
    Jason Arkins+, jazz alto saxophone – honorable mention
    Oliver D’Avolio, jazz piano – honorable mention
    Meghna Das, voice – merit
    Yuki Kanazawa+, violin – merit
    Anton Kot, jazz percussion – merit
    Joanne Lau+, flute – merit
    Cooper Malanowski, jazz trombone – merit
    Ian Maloney, cello – merit
    Satchel Peterson, jazz guitar – merit
    Vittorio Stropoli*, jazz piano – honorable mention
    Jack Towse, jazz trumpet – merit
    Alexandra Woroniecka+, violin – merit
    Chelsea Xia+, violin – honorable mention
    Isaac Yi, jazz tenor saxophone – merit

    (* indicates Precollege alumnus and current MSM college student, + indicates Precollege alumni)

  • Oct 17, 2019Precollege

    Precollege student performs with Southern Highlands Symphony Orchestra

    Cedar-Rose Newman, a 15-year-old Precollege violin student of Lucie Robert, performed Edouard Lalo’s Symphonie espagnole, Op 21 with in New South Wales, Australia last month.

    Ann Carr-Boyd, a composer and patron of the Southern Highlands Symphony Orchestra, shares this of Cedar-Rose’s performance: “Her performance at these two concerts was outstanding and a tremendous achievement for any violinist, let alone a violinist who is still only fifteen years old.”

  • Oct 10, 2019Precollege

    Precollege will participate in Luna Lab for second year

    Last year, a Precollege chamber music group had the opportunity to work with Luna Composition Lab and MSM Precollege will continue to collaborate with Luna Lab for their 2019-2020 season.

    Luna Composition Lab addresses the gender gap in the field of classical music by inspiring young self-identifying female, nonbinary and gender non-conforming individuals to compose. Founded in 2016 by 2019 Pulitzer Prize winner Ellen Reid – the first composer to have been commissioned by Los Angeles’ four major classical music institutions – and 2019 Grammy nominee Missy Mazzoli – one of the first two women to be commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera – with NYC’s Kaufman Music Center, Luna Lab provides mentorship and performance opportunities to girls and young women from eighth grade through college freshmen.

    The culminating performance will be on April 29, 2020 at Merkin Hall.

    Read the full press release here.

  • Oct 4, 2019Precollege

    Precollege chamber group performs on From the Top

    The music group, “Kalico Quartet”, performs on Show 376 of the weekly NPR broadcast which will be released November 4, 2019 here.

    Kalico Quartet is comprised of three current MSM Precollege students and one graduate — Cheng Io Lo, violin (’19); Lena-Marie Stoger, violin; Kevin Wallace, viola; and Andrew Wallace, cello. Last season, Kalico Quartet won the 2018-2019 Precollege Chamber Music Competition.

  • Sep 1, 2019Precollege

    Precollege students attend prestigious Vail Jazz Workshop

    Precollege students Natalie Barbieri and Anton Kot are attending the Vail Jazz Workshop and featured in this article, where they talk about the start of their careers and their experiences in the week-long intensive for the nation’s top teen musicians. The Vail Jazz Workshop focuses on ear-learning and improvisation, culminating in the Annual Vail Jazz Party alongside their workshop mentors. Precollege alumnus and current college student Vittorio Stropoli (BM ’23) was also in attendance at the workshop.

  • Aug 30, 2019Collaborative Piano

    Alumni join Steinway Artist Roster

    Alumna Myra Huang (MM ’01, Accompanying) and Precollege alumna Chloe Flower were recently added to Steinway & Sons’ prestigious Artist Roster. For decades, Steinway & Sons has cultivated special relationships with pianists from every genre. From Lang Lang to Diana Krall to Billy Joel to such legends as Cole Porter, Sergei Rachmaninoff, and Arthur Rubinstein.

    Learn more about Chloe (left) and Myra (right) on their Steinway Artist pages.

    Myra Huang Artist Page

    Chloe Flower Artist Page