(Englewood, New Jersey – January 27, 2017) Talented teen vocalists from Englewood, New Jersey will grace the stage of bergenPAC on Tuesday, February 7, at 7:00 pm in the 12th annual Englewood Idol competition. The theme for this year’s show, which will take place the week before Valentine’s Day, will be LOVE.
Englewood Idol is a fundraiser for the Dr. John Grieco Scholarship Fund. Students once again hope to raise at least $10,000 through this event, which is expected to top last year’s attendance record of more than 1,300 supporters. Funds raised by the Dr. John Grieco Scholarship Fund are awarded as academic scholarships each spring to Englewood Public School students in grades 7 – 12.
Englewood Idol 2017 will feature eleven contestants, all students from the city’s high schools: The Dwight-Englewood School (D-E), Dwight Morrow High School’s Comprehensive Program (DM), the Eagle Academy, and the [email protected] (AE). This year’s Englewood Idol contestants are Genesis Capellan (DM Sophomore), Stefano Castro (AE Senior), Scarlett Diaz (D-E Sophomore), Genevieve Faunde (DM Freshman), Jakai Green (DM Junior), Le’keil Herring (DM Junior), Alexis Oliver (AE Junior), Bianca Orozco (DM Senior), Kenya Silas (DM Senior), Lance Talton (EAGLE), and Christopher Victor (D-E Senior).
The show will also feature “Englewood’s Best Dance Crew,” a competition among Englewood’s high school-age dancers. Dwight-Englewood Language Arts teacher and Dance Club advisor Vicky Frankel lends her choreographic talents to this competition, along with bergenPAS’s celebrated Dance teacher Roberta Mathes who will showcase the beyondDANCE Ensemble. In addition, DMAE seniors Krishalei Locquiao, Kendra Kim and Nayely Hernandez have choreographed their own creative dance.
The judging panel will once again feature Broadway performer Kelli Rabke-Agresta; Artistic Director of Education of bergenPAC Alex Diaz; actor, model, and Language Arts teacher at Janis Dismus Middle School, Christopher Tisdale; singer/songwriter and musician Arejay Ella; and a surprise guest judge.
Community support of Englewood Idol has been stronger than ever, with Platinum Level sponsors Englewood Hospital & Medical Center, Visions Federal Credit Union, NVE Bank, Honda of Tenafly, Health East Medical Group, Otterstedt Insurance Agency, Benzel-Busch Motor Car, O. DiBella Music, TD Bank, and Prana Marketing. Gold Level sponsors include Shoprite, Cyclebar, Surf Dog Printing, The Ball Team at Merrill Lynch, and C2 Education. In addition, the Dr. John Grieco Scholarship Fund receives generous support from its community partners bergenPAC, the Community Chest serving Englewood, Tenafly and Englewood Cliffs, as well as Arts Bergen and the Northern New Jersey Community Foundation.
Auditions for Englewood Idol were open to any high school student living in, or attending school in, Englewood or Englewood Cliffs. More than 40 students auditioned this year for just ten spots, but the competition was so intense, and the level of talent so high, that the producers extended it to eleven contestants for this year.
Englewood Idol creator and producer Judy Aronson says she is thrilled to see how much fun the students are having with this year’s “love” theme. “The show is being held a week before Valentine’s Day, so the students have taken the theme and gone way beyond romance,” says Aronson. “They’ve even constructed a photo booth where guests can have their picture taken with a group of senior boys who will be dressed as cupids.” Students who excel in art and design have also created elaborate lobby displays that complement bergenPAC’s lush red lobby décor. “Our students are so lucky to be holding our show at this magnificent theater and they know it,” says Aronson.”They are having so much fun designing decorations that will transform the lobby,” says Aronson.
Teachers have also continued their tradition of mentoring students looking to acquire 21st century learning skills. Art teachers Grace Browne-Frangiosa and Mauricio Rodriguez helped Sarah Khadraoui, Sue Um, and Dante Wilson collaborate to produce the T-shirt design. Information Systems teacher Mitchell Ravitz has guided film directors and editors Ryan Pruitt, Stefano Castro, Oscar Chen, and Niyi Fatiregun on how to create the Englewood Idol videos, as well as webmaster AE junior Qaadir Khan, who oversees the student-designed website www.EnglewoodIdol.com, and AE junior Savannah Gajda, who manages social media for the event.
More than 75 students in the Dr. John Grieco Scholarship Fund elective and club work together to organize Englewood Idol. The elective class focuses on teaching students all aspects of event management, such as creating a budget, designing a marketing plan, selling tickets, T-shirts, sponsorships and program ads, editing and designing the show program, and overall event production. The Director of the show is DMAE Language Arts teacher Mindy Rochman, assisted by Grace Browne-Frangiosa and Stage Manager Jenny Zhang, who is a junior at AE. The Musical Director of this year’s show is DM junior Miles-Sinclair Egert, with vocal coaching from former Idol cast members, including Dasia Capers and the 2015 Englewood Idol Omarr Kaba. The emcees of this year’s show are AE senior Jonathan Vasquez, DM senior Kylie Patterson, and Dwight-Englewood senior Julia Braverman.
Englewood Idol is the largest annual fundraiser for students of the Dr. John Grieco Scholarship Fund, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit charity run by students at DMHS and [email protected] The late Dr. John Grieco, for whom the Scholarship Fund was named, was the Englewood Public School Superintendent who spearheaded the creation of the [email protected] program as well as other initiatives bringing educational reform and greater opportunities for students in the Englewood Public School District. According to Judy Aronson, founder and faculty advisor of the Dr. John Grieco Scholarship Fund, “Students, parents and staff have come to view Englewood Idol as more than a musical competition; it is an expression of so many of the values that Dr. John Grieco stood for,” citing how it helps Englewood’s high school students connect on a different level, outside of the classroom, showing a commitment to a show that they love.
This year’s classic black and white Englewood Idol T-shirt will also feature hints of red in the design, to showcase the Valentine’s Day theme, and will be available for $10. In addition to T-shirts, students have also designed a pink long-sleeved unisex shirt, available in pink, which will sell for $20. A limited number of Englewood Idol sweatpants are also available for $25. Tickets to Englewood Idol can be purchased in the Main Office of Dwight Morrow High School. Advance tickets are $7 for students/senior citizens and $10 for adults; tickets will be for sale at bergenPAC after 5:00 on the day of the show at $10 for students/senior citizens and $15 for adults. Those interested in purchasing tickets, shirts, or sweatpants, or wishing to support the Dr. John Grieco Scholarship Fund, can call 201-294-0725, email [email protected] or visit the student-designed website www.englewoodidol.com.
Tuesday, February 7, 2017 at 7:00 pm
30 N Van Brunt St,
Englewood, NJ 07631