Performing Arts Scholarship Recipients Are Ready To Make Music

By, Megan LaCreta & Zoe DeFazio, A&E Editor and Asst. A&E Editor

Music is calling! Manhattan College has awarded a new class of performing arts scholars. 

Each year up to twelve incoming students who are interested in the performing arts are awarded a scholarship. This year, nine freshmen were selected, said Andy Bauer, director of performing arts.

“We have some really great, talented freshmen coming in,” Bauer said. “I can’t wait to get working with them. We have instrumentalists and singers and all kinds of musicians. So I’m very excited about that. And they seem to have a lot of energy and enthusiasm.”

Ethan Haley, a freshman drummer, is one of the freshmen who was awarded the scholarship this year. Like so many musicians, Haley started at a young age. He began playing piano as a child and later advanced to the trumpet as he reached adolescence. Haley’s true passion, however, is percussion.

“Drums are my primary instrument. I switched to that in band class for high school as well, and then I’ve learned a bunch of other instruments on my own time, too,” Haley said.

Students must audition for a panel in order to lock in their scholarship spot, Bauer said. While many might find it intimidating, Haley had a breezy audition experience. Confidence in his work and dedication towards the many instruments he plays, helped Haley through the process.

“The audition experience was much more relaxed than I expected it to be,” Haley said. “There is a panel of judges there, but the panel is all current students in the ensembles, typically people who have also helped with the scholarship, and then just a member of faculty as well. So it’s not like a super high-pressure environment. They’re all very supportive. We had a fun time.”

Through the scholarship, students are able to explore their passion, and get some money while doing it. Recipients are required to participate in two ensembles, where they can learn more about their particular skill.

Another scholarship recipient, freshman vocalist Maria Budelman, is no stranger to performing. Budelman has starred in a number of productions growing up in a wide range of genres, but she still feels that she has a lot to learn.

“I am hoping to learn more about using my voice,” Budelman said. “My mom has been my voice teacher since I was little, and so she taught me everything I know. But I know there is so much more to know as well. So I’m hoping to learn a lot more in that, and to continue to be able to share my talent at Manhattan College and my love for singing.”

Budelman has always been surrounded by music. Being involved in plays, musicals, choirs and lessons for years, Budelman believes she has what it takes for Manhattan College’s performing arts department, where she will take part in Singers and Music Ministry.

“I have always loved to sing in a choir. I’ve done many choral groups, so when I saw that there was an opportunity to audition for [the performing arts scholarship], I knew I wanted to go for it,” Budelman said.

Haley also expressed his excitement for finally being a part of the school’s music community, where he will be participating in the jazz band and pep band.

“From what I’ve seen in pictures, it looks like the pep band is a lot of fun,” Haley said. “I see that at the games there’s a lot of high energy, so I’m excited about that. And jazz band, I’ve been looking forward to getting back into a jazz band.”

Isabella Suero, freshman instrumentalist and vocalist has been playing the clarinet since she was in the third grade. After learning to play clarinet she has learned many more instruments and even added vocals to add to her skill set. Suero will participate in Singers and orchestra, where she can expand on both her instrumental and vocal skills.

“I want to learn as much as I can about everything,” Suero said. “Even things I may not be as into, like, producing music. I just love to learn about music in general. I really hope that I can grow as a musician and a part of Manhattan College.”