Hopewell Valley Central High School Choirs Win First Place at National Jazz Festival

Vox Central jazz - From left to right: Piper Ward, Chloe Hulsizer, Genevieve Shaftel, Emma Ababa, Priya Naphade, Elliot Block, Gretchen Cyriacus, Caleb Briggs, Owen Seftor, James McLaughlin, Yezad Nakra, Emilianne Hatke

Two of Hopewell Valley Central High School (CHS)’s extracurricular choirs competed on Saturday, February 15, at the National Jazz Festival in Philadelphia, each bringing home top honors in their categories.

Vox Central Jazz, led by choir director Randy White, came in first place in the Vocal Jazz a cappella category. Priya Naphade received the Judge’s Choice award, and Genevieve Shaftel received one of three Outstanding Musician awards.

Con Brio, an a cappella group led by students Alex Cross and Alex Lehman-Borer, took first place in the “Pop- Cappella” category. Alex Lehman-Borer received the Judge’s Choice award and also the Superior Musician award for their musical direction of the ensemble. Superior Musician is awarded to only one student from all participating “pop-cappella” ensembles.

Con Brio – From left to right: Stephen Kim, Alex Lehman-Borer, Emma Ababa, Shayla Moon Hermann, Elliot Block, Gretchen Cyriacus, Caleb Briggs, Owen Seftor, James McLaughlin, Yezad Nakra, Emilianne Hatke

Both Vox Central Jazz and Con Brio are auditioned vocal groups affiliated with the CHS choir program. Last year, Vox participated in the final Berklee High School Jazz Festival in Boston and also performed at the Reduta Jazz Club in Prague, Czech Republic, while touring Europe with Chamber Singers, CHS’s honors-level curricular choir.

The CHS music program has been named a finalist in the Grammy Foundation’s Grammy Signature Schools program and to the American Music Conference’s list of the “Best 100 Communities for Music Education in America.” White has twice taken the Chamber Singers on tours of Europe, first in 2017, where their performances included the Vatican and the Pantheon, and then in 2019, when they performed in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and the Czech Republic.

For an updated calendar of all HV Choir events, please see their Facebook page or follow them on Instagram.

Submitted by the CHS Music Theater Parents Association

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