Samuel T. Hutcheson Memorial Scholarship

Samuel T. Hutcheson was a member of the tenor section of the North Jersey Chorus for 15 years before passing away unexpectedly a few years ago. At the request of his family, the Samuel T. Hutcheson Memorial Scholarship Fund was established and continues to be supported with the contributions received in his memory and through the on-going commitment of the chorus. As a tribute to Sam’s devotion to music and the chorus, scholarships are awarded to graduating high school seniors who are planning to further their education in the study of music. Awarding music scholarships has been the main purpose of the chorus since its early beginnings over 60 years ago.

2018 Samuel T. Hutcheson Memorial Scholarship Recipient:
Lauren Miller


Lauren Miller lives in Wyckoff, nj and graduated from Ramapo High School in Franklin Lakes in June.  During her four years of high school, Lauren excelled in academics and music.  She has been an honor roll student each year and achieved superintendent’s list status, the district’s highest honor roll award, during her sophomore year.

Lauren’s music education started formally in 2006 when she studied piano with North Jersey Chorus member, Linda Antlitz-Gottwald.  Since 2013, she has continued her piano study under the tutelage of world renowned pianist and organist, Linda Sweetman-Waters. She has also been a member of her high school’s concert choir and chamber choir for four years.

Lauren has expanded her music pathway to include school musical principal cast member for “The Secret Garden” in which she played the role of Mary Lennox, and the recent production of “Sister Act” as Mother Superior.  Lauren has also performed solos with her school choral groups including a performance at Disneyland, and has served as assistant music director for the school’s production of “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.”  As part of her high school music pathway, Lauren has successfully auditioned for regional and state mixed chorus and treble choir groups for the past 3 years.

Lauren now attends Ithaca College and plans to major in Politics with a concentration in International Relations.  As a musician, she plans to take music classes, join school choral groups, local bands, and other performance groups to enhance her avocation and involvement in a life-long enjoyment of music.


2016 Samuel T. Hutcheson Memorial Scholarship Recipients:
Rebekah Braun-McGovern and Melanie Lotta 

Rebekah Braun-McGovern has a diverse musical background, performing with the choir and band in school musicals for 6 years. A member of the madrigal choir for 4 years, she was selected to the Bergen County Chorus for all 6 years of her eligibility. Rebekah has served as Cantor and soloist for Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Washington Township. Described as a “very generous volunteer” she has worked on service projects with her church youth group, serving as a classroom aide preparing children for First Communion. Rebekah plans to continue her studies in music education.

Melanie Lotta has performed in the school choir, chorale and chamber choir, often as featured soloist. A finalist in the Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall, she has been selected to the Bergen County Choir each of her four high school years. She performed the National Anthem at the state championship basketball game for 3 years. Other special events include the Christopher Baron Live Life Foundation (2013-2015) and the Glen Rock High School Cabaret Night and Coffee House (2012-2016). Her voice teacher commented that Melanie is the most dedicated, organized and “beyond prepared” student with whom she has ever worked. Melanie will be attending Ithaca College in the fall, majoring in vocal performance and music education.


2015 Samuel T. Hutcheson Memorial Scholarship Recipient:
Abigail Koenig

    Abigail Koenig is a senior at Glen Rock High School and has demonstrated her love of music throughout her high school career, having performed with the choir, the chorale, and with staged musicals. Her talent and dedication have twice led to her selection to the Bergen County Chorus. She also “broadened my horizons theater and church choirs...”  In her sophomore year, she joined “Sharing the Arts,” a program which assists children with special needs in putting on a musical production. “Through this experience, I saw that the arts can help people come together, make new friendships, and make everyone feel included and important.” For the past two years, Abigail has served as the director of this program. Additionally, she has served as the Director of St. Catharines’s youth choir and has been an active member of Porchlight Productions, a privately run theatrical company and school, which works for many charities and community events. Continuing her dedication to the sharing of her love of music, Abigail is majoring in special education in college.


2014 Samuel T. Hutcheson Memorial Scholarship Recipients:

Nicole Crilly and Mark Serkin

Nicole Crilly comes highly recommended by her high school music teacher as one of the most talented students he has ever worked with.  Nicole is a member of the chamber choir and concert band. Noted by her voice instructor at Manhattan Pre-College Student School of Music, she is praised as a dedicated “great voice student” who is extremely musical.  Nicole’s performance credits include several musicals and dramas. Specialized education includes lessons in acting, music theory and “ear training.” Nicole’s philosophy: good performers are “primarily meant to teach, influence and benefit others.” She will attend either Rider University or Wagner University and is planning to major in Arts and Entertainment Management with a minor in Music.


Mark Serkin, cello (updated 2018)

American cellist Mark Edward Serkin is a Master of Music candidate and President’s scholarship recipient at Mannes School of Music in New York City where he studies with the internationally renowned cellist Jeffrey Zeigler.  Mark is principal cellist of the Mannes Orchestra and has performed at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and various other venues.  He received his bachelor’s degree with honors in cello performance at Mannes School of Music, The New School of Music, class of Barbara Stein Mallow.  

His earlier achievements include the second place in theKorean Radio Broadcasting New York International Music Competitionand the Gold Winner place at the National Young Musicians Showcase Competition (2013).  Mark was awarded with the opportunity to play at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Halland the Merkin Concert Hall, New York.  

Mark has participated in many festivals such as NY Phil Biennial, Kinhaven Music School, Meadowmount School of Music, Manchester Music Festival, Taconic Music, Luzerne Music Center, and the National Orchestra Institute and Festival, where he was recorded for the Naxos label in 2015 and 2016 albums.  In April 2017, Mark was a featured artist on the Classic FM Radio in London performing multi-screen arrangement of a Fauré fugue for four cellos.  Mark is cello and chamber music coach for the Face the Music program at Kaufman Center in New York City. 

Mark has performed in solo and chamber master classes for artists such as Sharon Robinson, Timothy Eddy, Robert DeMaine, Jonathan Spitz, Peter Stumpf, Julia Lichten, Gloria dePasquale, Stefan Milenkovich, Kronos Quartet, Horszowski Trio, and the Miró Quartet.  His main mentors include Hans Jørgen Jensen and Vladimir Panteleyev (cello performance), Todd Phillips (chamber), Nancy Wilson (baroque chamber). 

2013 Samuel T. Hutcheson Memorial Scholarship Recipient:
Isaac Choi

Isaac Choi, a recent graduate of Fair Lawn High School, is the recipient of a $500. scholarship award. Isaac’s music career in the public schools and community has been exceptional. As a violinist, he has served as concert master of the school’s orchestra and he was honored as the “Most Dedicated Performer in the Symphony Orchestra”. He shared his skills and love of music with the community as he taught guitar at a charter school, performed at a nursing home and played in a church band. Alison Lucas, his high school mentor, praised Isaac as being one of the most dedicated workers she has ever met, saying that he assumed leadership responsibilities without being told, tutoring other orchestra members and insuring that all performers were prepared for rehearsals and performances. Music has been an integral part of Isaac’s life. His parents were an inspiration for him. Isaac will continue his studies at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, specializing in music production and sound engineering, while pursuing his interests in the violin and jazz guitar.

Each year the North Jersey Chorus recognizes high school seniors like Isaac Choi who have made music a significant part of their background and who will further their education in a music-related area of study.

2008 Samuel T. Hutcheson Memorial Scholarship Recipient:
Kimberly Miller

Kimberly Miller received her North Jersey Chorus Samuel T. Hutcheson Music Scholarship in May 2008. While at Hawthorne High School, Kim was flute section leader of the marching band and also achieved the prestigious postion of Associtate Drum Major for the marching band. She also sang with the North Jersey Regional Mixed Chours. Kim Continues to study the flute, adding more challenging pieces to her repertoire and recently performed Prelude et Scherzo by Henri Busser in the fall flute recital.

Now enjoying her sophmore year at Nazareth College in Rochester, New York, where she is a music therapy major, she is currently involved in concert band and flute ensemble. She is also studying piano, guitar, percussion and voice. Extending music therapy skills from the classroom, Kim leads preschoolers in a sing-a-long with her classmates at the on-campus child care center. In addition she is a Resident Assistant, Student Ambassador and co-leader of a bible study group on campus. Kim has performed out of the school setting on numerous occassions for church musicals and, when her schedule permits, she plays flute for several area churches, including Grace United Methodist Church in Wykoff. The North Jersey Chorus is pleases to welcome Kim to our holiday concert and proud to have her performing with us.

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