Zachary Solano of Ledgewood, who just completed 11th grade at Roxbury High School, has won the prestigious Hanover Wind Symphony (HWS) summer music scholarship in the senior division. He will appear as a tuba soloist with the renowned wind band in the fall.


Principal tuba player with the All-State Wind Ensemble and the North Jersey Region Orchestra,  the scholarship winner will use his scholarship to take private online lessons over the summer with Mike Roylance of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Dennis Nulty of Oberlin Conservatory, and internationally renowned tubist Øystein Baadsvik.


“I began playing the tuba at the age of 11, and since then, my passion for the instrument has never faltered,” says Zachary. “When I decided I wanted to pursue music as a career in eightth grade, the prospect seemed incredibly daunting. After talking to knowledgeable teachers and peers, it quickly became clear that to chase my dream of becoming an orchestral tuba player would mean risking everything, including my future livelihood. To me, however, the choice was easy. The only way I could ever feel fulfilled in life, I decided, was to become a professional musician. Failure was simply not an option.”


Zachary has excelled at the tuba since he first took up the instrument. He was a finalist in the 2020 North Eastern Regional Tuba Euphonium Conference; he’s been the principal tuba player with the Roxbury High School Honors Wind Ensemble since 2019, and he plays with the Roxbury High School Premier Brass Quintet. He also won the Roxbury High School Awards for Outstanding Musicianship as both a freshman (2018) and a sophomore (2019). The multifaceted musician has also been Student Council president, a programmer with the Roxbury High School Robotics Team, and a participant in the Rutgers Model Congress and the Rutgers Model UN.

Gail Lalk of Morristown, chair of the HWS Scholarship Committee, points out, “Every year that we’ve offered this scholarship I have thought to myself that the level of talent cannot get any higher and every year I am amazed that it does. Our audition team was expecting Zachary to give a good audition based on his extensive resume of previous musical achievements, but we were blown away by his talent. Despite the fact that the auditions were held over Zoom, which doesn’t necessarily lend itself to a great acoustic environment, Zachary’s audition was impressive. He breaks down stereotypes of what a tuba soloist might sound like. His smooth tone and quick articulations shine a new light on how musically pleasing a tuba can be. I am looking forward to his performance with us in the fall and I’m certain the audience will be pleased as well.”


One of Zachary’s private tutors, Paul Scott, adjunct tuba professor at William Paterson University, cites the honoree’s “winning combination of tone, clarity, rhythmic integrity and substantial musicality,” which he says is rare in one his age. “He is also a warm, intelligent young man who is a pleasure for all to work with.”


The Hanover Wind Symphony is a unique extension of the great American tradition of adult music performance. The large orchestra, made up exclusively of woodwind, brass and percussion instruments, is committed to mentoring the next generation of wind musicians.


Hanover Wind Symphony Scholarship Committee members include Gail Lalk, committee chair, plus HWS president Dr. William Trusheim of West Milford, HWS treasurer Len Stern of Kinnelon, HWS music director Matthew Paterno of Parsippany, HWS associate music director Kurt Zimmermann of Rockaway, and HWS flutist Drusilla Gaffney of Succasunna.


HWS is working to make this scholarship program self-sustaining through donations. Donations to the Hanover Wind Symphony Summer Music Scholarship Program may be mailed to Hanover Wind Symphony, P.O. Box 100, Whippany, NJ 07981. Checks should be made payable to the Hanover Wind Symphony with “Scholarship Fund” in the memo line. Inquiries about the scholarship program may be emailed to info@hanoverwinds.org.


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