Saarim Rizavi

Hopewell Valley Central High School students Stephen Kim, Saarim Rizavi, and Joontae Hwang recently competed in the New Jersey Solo and Ensemble Music Festival presented by NJ Arts Ed and sponsored by Music For All. 

The Inaugural New Jersey State Solo & Ensemble Festival (NJSSE) was launched to recognize student achievement in music education across the state of New Jersey. Open to all public or private middle school and high school students, the goals of the NJSSE are to improve students’ music performance through assessment, increase students’ understanding of music literature and music concepts, motivate students to continue the study of music, establish standards of excellence in music performance, and provide opportunities for students to understand the relationship of music experiences to other life experiences. Nationally renowned musicians and educators from around the United States listened to and assessed all student performances.

Kim, a sophomore who plays the flute, performed Prokofiev’s Flute Sonata and earned a Silver Rating. Adjudicator Dr. Jessica Dunnavant, professor of music at Vanderbilt University, commented on his performance, “Fantastic. Great sound, great articulation...bravo”! Rizavi, a senior horn player, performed one of Mozart’s famous Horn Concertos and earned a Gold Rating, the event's top honor, which recognizes “exceptional performance in all areas”. Hwang, a senior violinist, performed Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso by Saint Saens and earned a Bronze Rating, rounding out the trio of Hopewell musicians who participated in the festival. Congratulations to Stephen, Saarim, and Joontae on their outstanding efforts and recognition.