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Mar 05, 2020

Middletown-Based NJSYO Chamber Ensemble Wins Top Honor at Crescendo International Competition

NJSYO Chamber Ensemble Wins First Place at Crescendo International Music Competition

The first-place winners of the Crescendo International Music Competition, the Middletown-based New Jersey State Youth Orchestra Chamber Ensemble, had the honor of performing for a packed auditorium at Carnegie Hall recently for the Winners’ Recital. The Chamber Ensemble is known for an eclectic repertoire, ranging from Mozart to Metallica. As Conductor Leo Soeda said, “No style is out of bounds.” For this year’s Crescendo Competition, the Chamber Ensemble performed Soeda’s original arrangement of “Carry On Wayward Son,” the rock classic by the group Kansas.

NJSYO’s Chamber Ensemble is different from many other musical groups in that the students perform without a conductor on stage. In this way, they are challenged to perfect their timing and focus, as well as their ability to work together and assume a higher level of individual responsibility.

The students couldn’t have achieved this honor without the guidance of Maestro Soeda and the support of the NJSYO Board, led by Gayle Topper. They are also grateful to Lisa and Rick Loshiavo, NJSYO season sponsors for 2019-2020, and Apollo Jets / Jacquie Fiorito, the performance sponsor for the Carnegie Hall event.

The members of the 2019-20 Chamber Ensemble are Charles Ascone, Madeline Fields, David Fiorito, Rayan Jawa, Erin Kraus, Melissa Lee, Colin Mullee, William Su, Jada Walch, Madeline Williams and Bernice Zhao.

For more information about the New Jersey State Youth Orchestra, visit