Linda Shoemaker scholarship recipient Katy Dara

Huntington Seniors Presented with Music Awards

Linda Shoemaker scholarship recipient Katy Dara with BPAH officials Judy Biener and Pam Fallon

July 12, 2017

University at Albany-bound Kathryn Dara is this year’s recipient of the $1,000 Linda Shoemaker Blue Devil Band Scholarship as the senior “who best exemplifies the benefits of membership in the band based on his personal growth during high school.”

Ms. Dara was recognized during the senior academic awards ceremony held in the Huntington High School auditorium last month. Huntington Band Parents Association officials Judy Biener and Pam Fallon presented the teenager with the scholarship.

Huntington seniors walked away with 22 different music medals, certificates, plaques, pins and financial scholarships after distinguishing themselves over the past four years.

Top senior musician Jacob LaBarge
Top senior musician Jacob LaBarge with teacher Jason Giachetti

Jacob LaBarge (West Virginia University) is the recipient of the Huntington High School Award for Overall Contributions to Music. The teenager received a financial stipend of $1,200 along with a music dictionary.

Connor Grosso, who will be attending the University at Buffalo in the fall, captured the Patrick S. Gilmore Band Award in recognition of being an exceptional band student and musician. Mr. Gilmore was a Civil War era bandleader and leading figure in 19th century American music, performing at high profile events such as presidential inaugurations, the U.S. centennial celebration, the dedication of the Statue of Liberty and many others.

Christian Verfenstein, who is headed to SUNY College at Potsdam’s Crane School of Music, garnered the Evelyn Daniels Memorial Scholarship, which is presented to an outstanding member of the orchestra who has excelled as a performer and exhibited dedicated service to the orchestra. The award carries a stipend of $100.

Jordan Biener (University of South Carolina) and Madeline Shea (Temple University) each received the Tri-M Music Leadership Award. Olivia Baldanza (University of Delaware) earned the National School Choral Award.

University of Delaware-bound Rachel Roday is the recipient of the National School Marching Band Award. Christiana Reinertsen (University of Scranton) and Marina Ruzic (Stony Brook University) were each presented with American Legion Music Award medals for having “contributed the most in the field of music.”

Blue Devil Orchestra Service Award certificates went to Evan Aguirre (Northeastern University), Camryn Libes (American University) and Thomas Pandolfi (Northeastern University).

Blue Devil Band Service Award recipients included Jordan Biener (University of South Carolina), Gabrielle Grenier (St. John’s University), Anjali Kapur (Northeastern University), Jackson Kent (Stevens Institute of Technology) and Dawson Wallace (Lehigh University).

Julia Engle won the Atlantic Wind Symphony Outstanding Student Band Award, which included a certificate and an opportunity to perform with the symphony. The teenager will be attending the University at Albany.

Logan Rice (Binghamton University) and Madeline Shea (Temple University) captured Huntington High School choral service scholarships, which carried $100 stipends. Allyson Arleo (LaSalle University) won the Director’s Award for Chorus.

William Garfinkel (Colgate University) garnered the National School Orchestra Award. Gabriella DeLuca (University of Massachusetts Amherst) won the Senior Orchestra Award, which includes a $100 stipend. Thomas Stock (SUNY College at Oneonta) captured the Semper Fidelis Award for Musical Excellence.

Jacob LaBarge (West Virginia University) took home the John Philip Sousa Award, which was created in 1955 and honors the top student in the high school band. The award has become the pinnacle of achievement for band students. It was developed with the cooperation of Helen Sousa Albert and Priscilla Sousa, daughters of the famous composer and bandmaster.

Kathryn Dara (University at Albany) was presented with the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award for being an outstanding instrumentalist as demonstrated through superior musicianship, character and individual creativity.

Olivia Baldanza (University of Delaware and Connor Grosso (University at Buffalo) were each presented with the New York State Field Band Conference Award, which carries a $200 stipend. The Suffolk County Music Educators Association presented Madeline Shea (Temple University) with a $100 scholarship after she was selected as an “outstanding senior” by music department members.

Zechariah Perea earned the New York State Council of Administrators for Music Education scholarship, which includes a $200 stipend.

Torre Palmer won the Woody Herman Jazz Award. The teenager will be attending SUNY College at Oswego.