HTHS Artists Earn Top Honors at Annual Teen Arts Contest

(Secaucus, NJ––May 17, 2022) In categories ranging from fine art to dance, High Tech students earned more than a dozen awards from the performing and visual arts showcases at the 2022 Hudson County Alliance of Teen Artists, announced Ms. Kathy Young, Principal of High Tech High School.

The annual contest, which celebrated its 36th year in 2022, brings together student-artists from high schools throughout Hudson County. Their works are put to judges in a wide range of categories, and winners earn either a Judge’s Award or Top Honors. Those taking Top Honors move on to the NJ Teen Arts Festival on June 2nd at Middlesex College to represent their county amongst peers statewide.

In the Performing Arts showcase, the HTHS Musical Theater department took home Top Honors in both the Small and Large Group Musical Theater categories. For the Small Group award, seniors Hannah Beemer and Amelia Gallagher, alongside sophomores Avery Ramsey and Madelyn Martinez and freshman Samantha Moreno, won for their performance of “Show Off.”  

For the Large Group Musical Theater award, Top Honors went to seniors Chrisopher Marinez, Jessica Piloto, Jacob Melendez, Lauralie Mufute, Arjun Athalye, Hannah Beemer, Katrina Rada, Amelia Gallagher, Nanki Nagpaul, and Jade Rodriguez for “The Drowsy Chaperone”. They are joined by juniors Nevin Trueblood, Derlin Rivera, Jaiden Cortes, Emily Dadulle, Mia Oliver, Kate Jensen, Madison Gray, Gianna Scalcione, and Milo Lemus. Sophomores in the ensemble included Bryn Robinson, Avery Robinson, Melanie Murra, Madelyn Martinez, Valeria Camino, Sophia Donath, Melanie Murray, Arisa Harmon, and Danielle Moncheck. The freshmen in the group were Alyana Aljabri and Isabel Rivera.

Additionally, in the category of Vocal Music Small Group Solo/Duet/Trio, Avery Ramsey won Top Honors, while Sienna Mello won the Judge’s Award.

Of the Musical Theater winners, HTHS instructor Jessie Delgado said: “I am so proud of the work that the cast of "The Drowsy Chaperone" has produced! Their dedication, talent, and tenacity were showcased at the Hudson County Teen Arts Festival, and now they get to share it on June 2nd at the NJ Teen Arts Festival.”

In other Performing Arts accomplishments, the HTHS Dance department, led by instructor Trista DeFillippis, took home Top Honors in both the Small Group Dance and Large Group Dance category. In the Small Group category, Tara Dean and Brogan Donston won for their piece, “Decay,” which they choreographed and performed together. In the Large Group Dance category, Janelle Acosta choreographed “Another Life” which was performed by Maialen Abio, Brogan Donston, Ava Guzman, Ayele Hyde, Breeze Jackson-Mboya, Jovy Rose Mariano, Dylan Nally and Ayla Richardson. The students worked on these pieces throughout the school year, said Ms. DeFillippis, who went on to add: “I'm extremely proud of the work they put into these pieces and their ability to convey such powerful messages through their artistry. As with other Top Honors awardees, these students will go on to compete at the state level on June 2nd at Middlesex County College.”

The HTHS Drama department, under the tutelage of Ms. Kerri Murphy, took home a Top Honors and Judge's Award in the category of Small Group Drama. High Tech sophomore, Emile Lamorte, won Top Honors for his performance of a monologue from "Betweenity" by Lindsay Price, and fellow sophomore, Cassandra Booker, won for her performance of a monologue from "A Free Man in Paris," written by Brooke Bermann.

For Small Group Vocal Music Ensemble, the High Tech High Notes took home a Judge’s Award.

Notably, High Tech senior John Rosado took home a Judge’s Award in the Open Category for his stand-up comedy routine. Although outside the formal arts classes here, John was coached by HTHS English instructor and stand-up comic Vincent Nardiello, Jr. An additional Open Category award of Top Honors went to the Firedance Instrumental Ensemble at High Tech High School.

In the Visual Arts section, Top Honors award went to Sarah Dziekan, while eight individual artists won Judge’s Awards for their original work: Jack Adamski, Valentina Castro, Natalia Czepielewski, Grace Demopoulos, Rebecca Garcia, Leigh Isaac, Mistral Pascual, and Isabela Vargas. Additionally, the students in the Creative Art I class won Judge’s Awards for two sectional painting group projects.

To view more of the students’ work, you can visit

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