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West Essex High Students Selected For NJ Music Honors

'This group demands and represents the highest level of performance for high school musicians in northern New Jersey.'

From left to right, Brian Gieger, Victoria Dominguez and Timothy Ruszala.
From left to right, Brian Gieger, Victoria Dominguez and Timothy Ruszala.

A dozen West Essex High School students have been selected for North Jersey Region I Honors Music Groups.

To represent West Essex High School in the North Jersey School Music Association Region I Band, three musicians from the West Essex High were selected.  

Timothy Ruszala, a sophomore from Fairfield, will play the bassoon in the NJSMA's prestigious wind ensemble. 

Brian Gieger, a junior from Fairfield, will play the tuba in the NJSMA's Symphonic Band. 

Victoria Dominguez, a junior from Roseland, will also play the bassoon in the Symphonic Band.

The concert, featuring performances by the wind ensemble and symphonic band, will play on Sunday, Jan. 26. 

In addition, West Essex High School junior Michael Wang, of North Caldwell, has successfully auditioned for the New Jersey Region 1 High School Orchestra and will perform with the group at its concert in February. Wang said he plans to audition for the New Jersey All-State Orchestra as well.  

Musicians must first successfully audition for their region orchestra before they can audition for All-State. Wang played with the New Jersey All-State Orchestra for the past two years.

This is Wang's fourth year performing as a cellist in Region 1, and he also plays with the New Jersey Youth Symphony.

"This group demands and represents the highest level of performance for high school musicians in northern New Jersey," said West Essex Orchestra Director Alex Soares. 

"The competition is intense with approximately one third of the auditioning students being selected to participate in the ensembles. These students will now have about five rehearsals before their mid-February performance."

Eight students were also selected for the North Jersey Region 1 Chorus. Sophomore Chloe Blottman, of Roseland; junior Jenna Cecere, of Essex Fells; freshman Elizabeth Schechter, of North Caldwell; and junior Christina Wan of Fairfield, will sing with the North Jersey Regional Women's Chorus. 

And sophomore Tess Dyer, of Roseland; junior Jennifer Kuscin, of Roseland; senior Geena Martorana, of Fairfield; and senior Cameron Perez, of North Caldwell, will perform with the higher level North Jersey Region I Honors Mixed Choir.

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