Morristown High School Senior Recipient of Vocal Music Scholarship Presented by Basking Ridge Nonprofit Notables Singers
(Basking Ridge, N.J.) – Katherine Merwin, a senior from Morristown High School, has been selected as recipient of the 2014 Notables Singers Vocal Music Scholarship, making her the 11th winner of this award since it was started in 2009.
Merwin aims to continue her musical studies and more at Boston University starting in September, where she plans to pursue a double major – one in vocal performance, from the College of Fine Arts, and another from the College of Arts and Sciences.
She was presented with the award on June 2 at Ridge Oak Senior Housing, in Basking Ridge, in conjunction with Notables’ performance for the residents.
“It is most gratifying, to present our annual scholarship – for the sixth consecutive year – to a very talented and capable young woman,” says Ellen Heffes, of Basking Ridge, founder and director of Notables. The group, which was formed in 2004, is comprised of about 16 women who sing America’s Favorite Music in sounds in Broadway, jazz and pop. Notables perform at a variety of venues primarily in central New Jersey, and are led by professional musical director and piano accompanist.
“We again appreciate the support we receive from the community to help raise needed funds to further our efforts,” says Heffes. She adds that Notables are planning a benefit concert at The Bickford Theatre in Morristown on Nov. 16 to fund future awards and operations of the nonprofit group. Notables makes the scholarship presentation at Ridge Oak since the singers rehearse each week from September to June in the community room at the senior housing development in Basking Ridge.
Merwin was selected from this year’s record number of entries submitted by high school seniors from Morris, Somerset, Ocean and Union counties. Applicants submitted CDs to demonstrate their vocal talent, as well as recommendations from individuals familiar with their abilities. Semi-finalists were then invited to attend in-person auditions.
Merwin says, “I am very committed to the pursuit of musical excellence … I am very excited to focus on developing my voice more seriously in college and look forward to the opportunities to come.”
In describing Merwin, Michael J. Nuzzo, director of Choral Music for Morristown High School, says: “From the time she entered our music program as a freshman, Katherine distinguished herself in terms of natural talent, intellectual curiosity, leadership and dedication … Admirably, I have seen her demonstrate considerable advancement and continuous enthusiasm throughout this time.”
Barbara Cornelia, of Mount Arlington, Notables’ musical director, says Merwin is “a well-poised, talented young lady with lots of potential.”
Loretta Zupa, of Morristown, Notables’ board member and chair of the Scholarship Committee, says, “Once again we are greatly impressed by the talent of our applicants. Katherine is an outstanding singer with the ability to capture an audience with her lovely presence and vocal agility. We are extremely proud to be part of her continued musical studies by awarding her our scholarship, and we wish her every success.”
Other members of the Scholarship Committee include Alberta Hornyak, of Basking Ridge; Reine Moran, Morris Plains; Barbara Pinto, Basking Ridge; and Roberta Smith, Notables’ piano accompanist, of Plainfield.
Notables Singers Inc. is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization comprised of volunteer singers that perform America’s Favorite Music in sounds in Broadway, jazz and pop for audiences primarily in central New Jersey. Visit the website at www.NotablesSingers.org for information on the scholarship program, bookings and group and performance schedules. The group is actively seeking additional singers, so women with some vocal ability and interest are invited to contact Notables at 973.216.4911
Pictured (l to r): Loretta Zupa, Morristown, chair, Notables’ Singers Inc. Scholarship Committee; Katherine Merwin, Morristown High School senior, 2014 Notables Vocal Scholarship recipient; Ellen Heffes, Basking Ridge, founder and director, Notables; Barbara Cornelia, Mt. Arlington, musical director, Notables.