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Annual Student Music Competition sounds the stage

Students from numerous local high schools sounded the Ocean City Music Pier's stage on May 1, for the annual Esther Weil music competition, hosted by The Friends of the Ocean City Pops.

30 contestants from Ocean City, Holy Spirit, Egg Harbor Township, Middle Township, Lower Cape May Regional, St. Augustine Preparatory, Mainland Regional, Oakcrest and Absegami performed vocal and instrumental pieces to compete for the top three Instrumental, Vocal and Piano Awards provided by the Scheible Encore Society. First place winners were awarded $1,000; second place, $500; and third place, $250.

For the Instrumental category, first place was awarded to Maura Olivero, of Lower Cape May Regional High School, who played "Concert Etude Op. 49" by Alexander Goedicke on the trumpet. Second place was not awarded for the Instrumental category. Third place was awarded to Christina Barbella, of Ocean City High School, who performed "Concerto in G Minor First Movement," by David Bennett on the saxophone.

For the Piano category, first place went to Hans-Derek Yu, a home schooler, who performed "Variations, Op. 41" by Nikolai Kapustin. Second place was awarded to Dennis Xu, of Mainland Regional High School, who played "Piano Concerto No. 1 in G Minor" by Felix Mendelssohn. The third place prize was awarded to Alex DeStefano, of Holy Spirit High School, who performed "Waltz in A Flat Major Op. 34 No. 1" by Frederic Chopin.

For the Voice category, first place was awarded to Grace Mozitis, of Mainland Regional High School, sings "One Perfect Moment" by Tom Kitt, A. Green and L. Emanuel. Second place went to Alan Rendzak, of Middle Township High School, who sang "My Mother Bore Me" by Maury Yeston. Another second place prize went to Ted Guzman, of Egg Harbor Township High School, who sang "Goodbye" by Marc Shaiman. Finally, third place was given to Lena Dougherty, of Middle Township High School, who sang "Part of Your World" by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman.

Stephen Gring was emcee for the evening, while Robert Snodgrass was the competition coordinator. Scott Breiner and Kathy Ford served as piano accompanists.

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