Hudson Valley Music Club Annual Student Awards Concert

The Hudson Valley Music Club

Announces 2019 Student Awards Winners

The Hudson Valley Music Club holds an annual competition for talented Westchester County high school students. The winners are invited to display their talents at a concert in April. This year’s concert will be held on Monday, April 22, at 1:00 PM at the Dobbs Ferry Woman’s Club, 54 Clinton Avenue, Dobbs Ferry. Admission is $18.00.

For further information, please call 914-725-1203

The winners of this year’s competition are:

Winners: (in alphabetical order)

  1. Calando Quartet     Beatrice Seidenberg, violin          Hastings H.S.           Gr. 10

Keerthana Chari, violin                 Scarsdale H.S.          Gr. 10

Richard Ackerman, viola              Irvington H.S.          Gr. 10

Christopher Cho, cello                  Ardsley H.S.             Gr. 11

  1. Alex Chao, piano                                                                Blind Brook H.S.      Gr. 11
  2. Andrew Lu, cello                                                                 Yorktown H.S.         Gr. 11
  3. David Peng, cello    Francesca Church Award             Scarsdale H.S.          Gr. 11


Honorable Mention (in alphabetical order):

  1. Zachary Barnet, cello                                            The Masters School           Gr. 11
  2. Sabrina Mellinghoff, cello                                                Bronxville H.S.         Gr. 11

Calando Quartet

 Beatrice (Bebe) Seidenberg has played violin since she was 3 years old while attending the Hoff-Barthelson Preschool.  She studied at that time with Barbara Berg and in later years, flute with Donna Elaine.  She continues her violin studies with Eriko Sato and participates in the Hoff-Barthelson Honors Program.  Bebe serves as co-concertmaster of the Hoff-Barthelson Festival Orchestra, an ensemble in which she has been a member since 7th grade.  She is a founding member of the Calando Quartet.  Bebe is in 10th grade at Hastings High School where she studies with Mr. Ken Jernigan and performs as concertmaster/leader of both the school orchestra as well as Sinfonia, a student-run conductor-less ensemble.  She performs with the pit orchestras of school musicals yearly and teaches local violin students.  Since 4th grade, she has earned a position in the All-County Orchestra, 2018 being her first appearance in the Area All-State Orchestra.  During her summers, she attends the Kinhaven Music School in Vermont where she has served as concertmaster as well as studying chamber music works and singing as a soprano in its choir and chamber choir.  In her spare time, she works as a receptionist at Hoff-Barthelson Music School as well as tuning and performing with the Symphonette Orchestra.

Keerthana Chari is a sophomore at Scarsdale High School and has been a student at Hoff-Barthelson Music School for the past 11 years. Since third grade, she has been studying privately with April Johnson. She is also a member of the Hoff-Barthelson Festival Orchestra conducted by Jun Nakabayashi, and for the past three years, a member of the Calando Quartet, coached by Naomi Graf and Lani Chang. Recently, her high school chamber trio advanced to the semi-finals in the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Young Musician’s competition and performed at Purchase College’s Center for the Performing Arts, where they were coached by Chamber Music Society violinist, Kristen Lee. Keerthana is an active member of her high school music community and performs with the symphony orchestra, the chamber orchestra, the pit orchestra for musical drama productions, and in community service concerts, as well as volunteering as a weekly music educator at an elementary school in Mount Vernon.

Richard Ackerman has been attending Hoff-Barthelson Music School for 7 years studying viola with Mark Kushnir. Also at Hoff-Barthelson, Richard participates in the Honors Program, Viola Club, is a member of the Calando Quartet, and takes theory and composition as well as performing in numerous solo recitals. He has also appeared numerous times as principal viola in the All-State and All-County orchestras, through earning perfect scores on NYSSMA level 6 pieces four consecutive years. In his summers, Richard has been awarded scholarships to attend the Kinhaven Music School (2016) and Credo at Oberlin College (2017-18) where he performed in multiple string quartets. Richard is a sophomore at Irvington High School and is the captain of his Boy Scout troop.

Christopher Cho is in 11th grade at Ardsley High School.  A native of Columbus, OH, he started his first piano lesson at the age of four and fist cello lesson at the age of seven.  He was accepted to the Crowden Music School in Berkeley, California in fourth grade.  After his family was relocated to New York in 2012, he continued playing cello and chamber music at the Music Conservatory of Westchester and in the All-County Orchestra.  In 2016, Chris won 3rd prize in the 6th New York International Music Competition and performed at Lincoln Center.  In 2017, he won 5th place in the Yonkers Philharmonic Concerto Competition and played in the Area All-State Orchestra.  He is currently a member of the Calando Quartet, the Hoff-Barthelson Festival Orchestra and Ardsley High School Chamber Orchestra.  He also plays guitar at the praise team at New Hope Reformed Church and is an avid runner on the Track and Cross Country Team.  He is a student of Peter Seidenberg.

Alex Chao

Alex Chao, 17, is a junior at Blind Brook High School. He began playing the piano at age six and took private lessons from several local piano teachers in his early years of study, developing a fascination for classical music and piano performance. Currently, he is a student at the Manhattan School of Music Pre-College program under the instruction of Ms. Tatiana Goncharova. Alex has won several awards in national and international music festivals and competitions, including the Vivo International Music Competition, Crescendo International Youth Competition, and National Young Maestro Competition. He has presented his performance in winners’ concerts in Carnegie Hall and Kaufman Music Center. Alex is also an active member of his school’s music organizations and is a clarinetist in the Blind Brook wind ensemble and chamber ensemble. In his spare time, he has helped the community as a music tutor for local residents interested in learning to play the piano.

Andrew Lu

Andrew Lu, 16, is a junior at Yorktown High School in Westchester County, New York.  Andrew has been playing cello since the age of five as a student of Mrs. Julie Diesslin August.  Andrew plays in the New York Youth Symphony, which performs regularly at venues including Symphony Space, United Palace, and Carnegie Hall. He served as Principal Cellist in the New York State Conference All-State Symphony Orchestra, Westchester County Area All-State Symphony Orchestra, and Greater Westchester Youth Orchestras Association Junior Strings. Andrew is also an avid chamber musician performing in Chamber Music Institute for Young Musicians. Andrew enjoys performing at different kinds of community events and enjoys playing quartets with a group of friends who love music. He also enjoys playing tennis and is a member of Yorktown High School varsity tennis team.

David Peng

A junior at Scarsdale High School, David Peng is a two-time All-county cellist and assistant principal cellist at Hoff-Barthelson Festival Orchestra. As part of his school’s chamber program, his chamber group won the 2019 regional round of 36th Annual Musicians Program for the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. In the summers, he has attended New York State Summer School of the Arts (NYSSSA), 2018 School of Orchestral Studies, and the 2017 Interlochen Arts Camp. Since moving to New York from Chicago, David started studying cello with Peter Seidenberg. Before, David studied piano with Sueanne Metz in Chicago, winning several competitions including American Protege, International Young Musicians Festival, and performed at Carnegie Hall. Currently, David is treasurer for his school’s Tri-M Music Honors Society Chapter, and teaches music to children at Edward Williams Elementary School as a member of the Music Education Club.

Event Location and Ticket Information

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Dobbs Ferry Woman’s Club
54 Clinton Avenue
Dobbs Ferry , NY
Handicap Accessible? No

Date: Monday, April 22, 2019
Times: 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Ticket pricing:

Presenter: Hudson Valley Music Club
Presenter Phone: 914-725-1203