Music Blog

The Official Blog of the Music Conservatory of Westchester

Voted Best of Westchester's "Best Music School" AGAIN!

Thursday, June 28, 2018

The votes are in! With many thanks to our musical community, the Music Conservatory of Westchester has been voted ‘Best Music School’ of 2018 in Westchester Magazine’s ‘Best of Westchester’ contest!

This is the 2nd consecutive year that the Conservatory has been honored with this title. The Conservatory is proud of its students, faculty, staff, leadership, and Conservatory families who continue to make our school the ‘Best of Westchester’ and we hope to continue that legacy for many years to come.

Thank you to everyone who voted for the Music Conservatory of Westchester and chooses to study music with us as we strive to provide the extraordinary benefits of music to all in our community.

Visualizing Music at the “Colors of Music” Student Mural Contest Press Conference

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

On June 27, 2018, the Music Conservatory of Westchester celebrated the artistic talent in our community with the local press. Mya Madison Davis, 9th grader at Pelham Memorial High School and Ciara Sergi, 9th grader at White Plains High School are the winners of the Conservatory’s “Colors of Music” Student Mural Contest in which their artwork submissions will be adapted into a mural representing “Multi-Cultural Music” painted on the south-facing exterior wall of the Conservatory’s building on Central Avenue in White Plains.

In addition to the two winners, the following guests were also in attendance:
  • Jean Newton, Executive Director of the Music Conservatory of Westchester
  • Lynn Honeysett, former Executive Director of the Pelham Art Center
  • Mayor Thomas Roach of White Plains
  • Kimberlyn McKoy, Gallery Associate at ArtsWestchester
  • Amy R. Paulin, New York State Assemblymember of the 88th District
  • Andrea Taber, Music Conservatory of Westchester Board Member
  • Jonathan Villoch, Professional Mural Artist

Jean Newton explained in her introduction that this mural project is made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

“This project makes it able to visualize what we do within these walls every day at the Conservatory,” Newton said.

All of the art expert and community leader guests spoke about their appreciation for the arts and how as 9th graders, these winning artist students are already off to a great start.

Mya Madison Davis and Ciara Sergi were awarded certificates of artistic achievement as well as art supplies packages as prizes from Thomson’s Art and Frame Inc. in White Plains. Contest finalists Emma Farley and Lucy Schwartzreich were unable to attend. All four students are invited to participate in a mural art workshop led by Jonathan Villoch to collaborate on the final mural design.

“This would be a taste of what it’s like to work in an artist’s studio,” he said of this one-in-a-lifetime opportunity for these young artists.

Both winning students said they got help creating their artwork in different ways. Mya Madison Davis said that her art teacher at Pelham Memorial High School helped her figure out how to lay out her mural design and decide which materials to use. Ciara Sergi shared that she did a lot of online research about world music and musical instruments for inspiration in creating her contest artwork entry.

“These works of art can unify the community from the street,” former Executive Director of the Pelham Art Center and contest judge, Lynn Honeysett, explained how the winning artwork truly represented the theme in unique ways as mural concepts that will be seen on a large scale.

Click to see the winning pieces of art!

The final mural will be unveiled on Sunday, September 30 in a block party celebration open to the public with live music, food trucks, and family activities on the Conservatory’s grounds.

As White Plains and Westchester County continue to industrialize, Mayor Thomas Roach said that he “love[s] to enjoy art, especially coming upon art.” Finding art in unexpected places, such as a public art mural on the side of the Music Conservatory of Westchester’s building on a busy street such as Central Avenue, is a special treat for the entire community.

New York State Assemblymember Amy Paulin shared her experience encouraging her daughter’s artistic career endeavors as a professional photographer. “Learn, grow, develop and take your talent to use in either a professional or recreational capacity.”

“I definitely plan on taking more art classes in high school,” contest winner Ciara Sergi said.

ArtsWestchester Gallery Associate, Kimberlyn McKoy expressed some words of advice to the winning students as they continue in their artistic journeys in life wherever that journey takes them. “Hone your skills. Ask questions. And don’t be afraid to be an artist.”

Click here to see more photos of the event!

Announing TWO "Colors of Music" Student Mural Contest Winners

Friday, June 15, 2018

Local Student Artwork to Be Painted As Community Mural in White Plains

The Music Conservatory of Westchester is proud to announce that both Mya Madison Davis, 9th grader at Pelham Memorial High School, and Ciara Sergi, 9th grader at White Plains High School, are winners of the “Colors of Music” Student Mural Contest!

Numerous entries were submitted by middle and high school students around Westchester County with the hope that their artwork would be chosen as the basis for a mural to be painted on the Music Conservatory of Westchester’s building on Central Avenue in White Plains. Four finalists were selected by an adjudication panel of art experts and creative community leaders from New York City and Westchester County. (To view an album of all the contest entries click here)

"Rainbow Rhapsody" by Mya Madison Davis, Pelham Memorial High School

In a tie, based on scores from all eight members of the adjudication panel, both Mya Madison Davis and Ciara Sergi were chosen as winners of the contest. They will collaborate with professional mural artist, Jonathan Villoch, to adapt their winning designs as a large-scale mural representing the theme of “Multi-Cultural Music.” Runners-up in the contest, Emma Farley of New Rochelle, 7th grader at Albert Leonard Middle School and Lucy Schwartzreich, of Chappaqua, 11th grader at Horace Greely High School will attend a mural art workshop over the summer with all four finalists. A new mural will be developed based on the winners’ designs under Jonathan Villoch’s guidance.

“Giving and getting feedback is so important to collaboration and having an open dialogue is essential for artists to communicate productively on any project,” Mr. Villoch said of this once-in-a-lifetime artistic experience.

Finalists in the contest are (in alphabetical order by last name):
  • Mya Madison Davis, of Pelham, grade 9, Pelham Memorial High School
  • Emma Farley, of New Rochelle, grade 7, Albert Leonard Middle School
  • Lucy Schwartzreich, of Chappaqua, grade 11, Horace Greeley High School
  • Ciara Sergi, of White Plains, grade 9, White Plains High School

Mya Madison Davis described her winning contest submission titled “Rainbow Rhapsody” as, “The bright colors represent diversity of people. The instruments I used are from all over the world. For example, I included a Djembe which is a drum from Africa. I also included a pan flute which originates from Colombia. I also depicted instruments that would not usually go together like a piano and an electric guitar. An important part of my painting is the silhouette of the conductor's arms because it shows everyone from all different cultural backgrounds coming together, united in one harmony, all with a common goal.”

Ciara Sergi described her worldly entry titled “Musical Pangea”: I drew the characteristic instruments from each of the continents as a product of their traditional culture, and used their instruments to depict each continent.”

"Musical Pangea" by Ciara Sergi, White Plains High School

The Music Conservatory of Westchester thanks all of the talented student artist entrants in the “Colors of Music” Student Mural Contest for their exceptional creative ideas, colors, mediums, and musical and multi-cultural elements that were demonstrated to illustrate the theme.

“Each artist brought his or her creative point of view. Some artists were quite literal in their interpretation; others took the theme to another level of graphic abstraction and conceptualization,” Lynn Honeysett, former Executive Director of the Pelham Art Center said of the art entries submitted by local students for the contest. “I appreciated that all the student artists brought heart and soul to their work.”

Submissions for the “Colors of Music” Student Mural Contest, supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, were judged in two rounds by eight panelists with art expertise as well as Westchester County community leaders:

  • Margaret Adasko, Curator of Education, Katonah Museum of Art
  • Samantha De Tillio, Assistant Curator, Museum of Arts and Design
  • Michael Dweck, Treasurer and Board Trustee, Museum of Arts and Design
  • Jimmy Fink, Radio Personality and Producer at 107.1 The Peak
  • Lynn Honeysett, Former Executive Director of the Pelham Art Center
  • Kimberlyn V. McKoy, Gallery Associate, ArtsWestchester
  • Amy R. Paulin, Assemblymember for the 88th District
  • Jonathan Villoch, Professional Mural Artist, Collaborating Artist for “Colors of Music” Student Mural Contest
Conservatory Executive Director Jean Newton said, “We are very excited to unveil the finished mural, celebrate and share it with the entire community. Music and art brings people together in a way that nothing else can.”

The Music Conservatory of Westchester will celebrate the unveiling of the final mural on Sunday, September 30th, 2018 with a block party on the Conservatory’s grounds. The entire community is invited to enjoy live music, food trucks, and family fun! The Conservatory encourages all students who entered the contest to attend and share in recognizing their fellow students whose creative vision of the vibrant diversity of Westchester County and beyond will be featured as public art for the community.