FPA News

Honors for Belmont Artists & Musicians

date 3/3/2022

As we are all too well-aware, the past two school years have been anything but normal for our students, families and educators. One of the most encouraging things we have seen this year is the return of music and art to our classrooms across the district. As our programs have carefully returned to a more normal, pre-pandemic level of operation our students have also begun to audition and participate in honors festivals and exhibits in both music and visual art. 


Visual Art

Each year the Scholastic Art Awards recognize young artists at the state, regional and national level for their creativity and their technical skill. Over 7,500 students submitted artwork for consideration in Massachusetts alone this year. We are proud to announce that twenty-four students from Belmont High School were among those selected for awards. Students who earn “Gold Key” awards will have their work exhibited and considered for national recognition in New York City.


Adam Arredouani (Grade 10), Silver Key

Amy Chen (Grade 9), Gold Key

Anya Chen (Grade 11), Gold Key

Brynner Eang (Grade 10), Silver Key

Shani Getz (Grade 12), Gold Key

Will Ingersoll (Grade 11), Silver Key

Lauren Ji (Grade 11), Honorable Mention

Ella Johnson (Grade 12), Gold Key

Rachel Li (Grade 10), Silver Key

Dahlia Liu (Grade 12), Gold Key

Daniel Liu (Grade 9), Honorable Mention

Sophia Liu (Grade 11), Gold Key & Honorable Mention

Mae Pirani (Grade 12), Silver Key

Maya Rodriguez-Clark (Grade 12), Gold Keys (2)

Jiali Shi (Grade 10), Honorable Mention

Joy Son (Grade 9), Gold Key & Silver Keys (2)

Mary Thompson (Grade 12), Honorable Mention

Vivian Weng (Grade 10), Gold Key

Tina Xu (Grade 10), Silver Key

Evan Zhang (Grade 9), Honorable Mention

Anne Zhao (Grade 11), Silver Key

Olivia Zhao (Grade 10), Gold Key & Honorable Mentions (2)

Renee Zhao (Grade 9), Honorable Mention

Serena Zhu (Grade 9), Gold Key


In addition to earning a Gold Key, Maya Rodriguez-Clark was awarded BEST IN CATEGORY (Painting) for her piece, “A New Perspective” (pictured below)


Sophia Liu (Grade 11) earned 1st Place in the UMass-Dartmouth “Emerging Young Artists” competition. She was honored at a reception on campus on January 21 for her piece entitled “Crown” (pictured below)



With the return of live, in-person music to our schools our students have resumed auditioning for honors festivals on the district, state and national levels. The Massachusetts Music Educators Association (MMEA) Northeastern District operates two festivals each spring - Junior Districts for students in Grade 7-9 (March 23, 25 & 26), and Senior Districts for students in Grades 9-12 (March 19). The following students from Chenery Middle School and Belmont High School have been accepted to perform in the MMEA Northeastern District Junior/Senior Concert Band, Orchestra, Chorus and Jazz Ensembles:


CMS Junior Districts 

Calvin Barnes, Chorus

Rohan Bhaqwati, Trombone

Sophia Bufano, Trombone

Brady Chan, Jazz Trumpet

Ivan Chernov, Chorus

Ian Choi, Trumpet

Caroline Didzinski, Bassoon

Samuel Engler, String Bass

Sophia Gottselig, Chorus

Aanya Gupta, Viola

Hank Hicks, Bassoon

Kaanya Jain, Jazz Alto Saxophone

Esther Ji, Violin

Rebecca Knight, Chorus

Brandon Law, Cello

Daphne Lee, Violin

Sunho Lee, Cello

Zoe Lindsey, Chorus

Austin Mann, Chorus

Ali Masoud, Jazz Tenor Saxophone

Stella Ovcharova, Timpani

Ben Palmer, Cello

Ryan Park, Jazz Trumpet

Nathaniel Peck, Violin

Zachary Robbins, Cello

Brook Whalen, Chorus

Aiden Yang, Violin

May Zheng, Chorus

Sophia Zhong, Violin

Elizabeth Zuccarello, Euphonium


BHS Junior Districts

Claire Boyle, Chorus

Parker Brookins, Jazz Trumpet

Mark Chumack, Trumpet

Benjamin Hanna, Alto Saxophone

Sophie Harteveldt, Chorus

Josephine Lamenza, Chorus

Laila Lusis, Trombone

Maya Ramanathan, Violin

Evan Zhang, Clarinet

Serena Zhu, Violin


BHS Senior Districts

Kate Arkin, Oboe

Christopher Bauge, Jazz Baritone Saxophone

Leo Carpenter, Trombone

Aidan Chen, Clarinet

Madeleine Christensen, Chorus

Lincoln Crockett, Chorus

Helena De Figueiredo Valente, Chorus

Luke Fitzpatrick, Trombone

Kathleen Gao, Violin

Nathaniel Gillette, Trumpet

Lydia Haddad, French Horn

Lizandra Hawkinson, Chorus

Jabe Hicks, Alto Saxophone

Tilly Jones, Flute

Daniel Kim, Cello

Meredith Knauff, Cello

Megan Kornberg, Oboe

Bora Kosar, Viola

Sam Kutsman, Clarinet

Priscilla Lee, Violin

Daniel Liu, Violin

Aaron Lubetsky, Jazz Trombone

Jacob Lubetsky, Trumpet

Sam Macchi, String Bass

Julie Meng, Violin

Shanta Pai, String Bass

Shivane Pratap, Tenor Saxophone

Su Min Pyo, Clarinet

Irene Son, Clarinet

Christina Xi, Violin

Michael Xing, Baritone Saxophone

Anthony Zhao, Clarinet

Renee Zhao, Violin

Kenneth Zhou, Tuba


The MMEA All-State Festival honors the most outstanding student-musicians from across Massachusetts. The following BHS students have been accepted to participate in this year’s All-State Festival, and will perform at Symphony Hall in Boston this Saturday, March 5.


Kate Arkin, Oboe

Christopher Bauge, Jazz Baritone Saxophone

Nathaniel Gillette, Trumpet

Lydia Haddad, French Horn

Jabe Hicks, Alto Saxophone

Tilly Jones, Flute

Meredith Knauff, Cello

Megan Kornberg, Oboe

Priscilla Lee, Violin

Aaron Lubetsky, Jazz Trombone

Su Min Pyo, Clarinet

Irene Son, Clarinet

Christina Xi, Violin

Kenneth Zhou, Tuba


Kate Arkin (Grade 12, oboe) was also one of only 533 students nationwide to be selected to perform in the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) All-National Honors Festival. Kate performed in a virtual concert on January 24 and had this to say about her experience:

“Working with Travis Cross [All-National Band conductor] was a really great experience because he was very easy going, but at the same time very obviously passionate about music and conducting us. All of the guest speakers and clinicians seemed like they were genuinely excited to be there, and that excitement was contagious and really helped to foster the overall positive energy of the festival.” BHS Band Director Allison Lacasse states that “Kate’s passion and dedication to playing the oboe beautifully is inspiring. In the past two years, being vulnerable and courageous in performance was even more challenging due to the virtual nature of rehearsing and performing. Kate’s work ethic, along with her positive and goal-oriented personality, allowed her to achieve one of the nation’s top honors.”


Jabe Hicks (Grade 11, alto saxophone), Daniel Zhang (grade 12, tenor saxophone), Lydia Haddad (Grade 12, French Horn), Evan Zhang (Grade 9, clarinet), and Benjamin Hanna (Grade 9, alto saxophone) earned seats in the 2021 Western International Band Clinic honor bands. This festival takes place in Seattle, Washington, and students work under the batons of six celebrated conductors and composers in the band field. Students worked from November 18-21, 2021 in rehearsals and got to take in professional performances by some of the top artists in the world. The clinic culminated with live-streamed performances by the four honor bands featuring the Classical Fusion trio, PROJECT Trio.



In addition to the numerous students recognized above, there are dozens of other CMS and BHS students who submitted artwork or auditioned for honors festivals and were not accepted this year. It takes a great deal of courage and dedication to go through the submission and audition process, along with hours of preparation and ultimately the vulnerability required to put your work in front of an audience to be judged. We would also like to acknowledge those students who submitted work and were not accepted - some missing by the very narrowest of margins - and encourage them to continue taking the risk of putting their artwork and performances into the world. We are proud of all of you!