As she’s approaching the end of her high school career, Newark High School senior Anisha Stallworth has hit a really high note.
She’s one of only a very few students who’ve been involved, at least for over the last three decades in the NHS music program, to have been selected to participate in one of NAfME’s Eastern Honors Ensembles in April 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Kate Flock, Stallworth’s vocal music teacher at NHS says, it’s a huge honor both for Anisha and NHS.
Flock, who is in her third year of teaching at NHS after 17 years of teaching at Newark Middle School, is thrilled.
“It is really exciting,’’ she said. “Anisha is the first person, since I’ve been teaching at the high school, to make Conference All State and it’s doubly wonderful for her to be going to NAfME All-Eastern next April. It shows how all of her hard work as a musician has paid off.”
Former NCSD Music Supervisor and NHS instrumental music teacher Dave Schwind, who retired from teaching music in Newark for 30 years in 2016 and is back this year as a long-term substitute filling in for Rebekah Valerio who is on maternity leave, says he only remembers perhaps five students who qualified for NAfME All-Eastern in either instrumental or vocal music during his tenure.
“It’s a tremendous achievement,’’ he said. “It’s a really big deal!”
“Anisha’s musical achievements are certainly something to be proud of. Her participation in many NCSD groups, All-Counties, Area All-States and selection into All-State this year are tremendous honors,” said NCSD PreK-12 Music Department Leader Cindy Briggs, who teaches instrumental music at Kelley School. “The final selection into All-Eastern is a once in a lifetime experience and certainly something that she will remember for a very long time. The Newark Music Department is very proud of Anisha and her hard work and knows she will do an amazing job representing our school district!”
Stallworth qualified to apply for inclusion in one of the 2019 NAfME All-Eastern Honors Ensembles because she was selected to be a part of the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) Conference All-State this weekend at the Rochester Convention Center.
She won that distinction after receiving a perfect 100 score rating for her alto solo of “Do Not Go My Love” by Richard Hageman at the NYSSMA Solo Festival in May hosted by Wayne Central High School.
Stallworth, whose been rehearsing music since October that she and 149 other select vocalists from throughout the state will be performing this weekend is both humbled by and thrilled by her achievements.
“It’s a big honor,’’ she said softly. “I honestly did not expect this to come from the little solo I did last May.”
Stallworth, who hopes someday to be on Broadway and inspire other young musicians, is a member of NHS Vocal Jazz, Chamber Choir and “Downbeat.” She’s participated in all of the NHS musicals and dramatic performances; has been in All-County Chorus, Area All-State the NYSSMA Solo Festival several times.
While she has applied to several colleges, she’s hoping to major in musical theater at either Pace University or SUNY Purchase.
Flock said Stallworth’s stellar musical achievements should definitely give her an edge.