Student of the Month

Thanks for following our Student of the Month program for the 2016-17 academic year! Student of the Month will resume in November 2017 with our September student of the month.

NEMPAC Faculty members nominate students each month to be considered for this award. 

NEMPAC June 2017 Student of the Month – Walker Cox!

Congratulations Walker! Educational Programs Director Manda Shepherd had the following to say:

Walker has been a student in my studio for a year now, but has been a student at NEMPAC for much longer! He is extremely diligent with his practice routine, and is always looking to learn new genres of music. At his last performance in the Spring Recital this June, Walker performed his own arrangement of La Vie en Rose. He worked for almost six months learning, analyzing, and composing the piece and his arrangement. His hard work paid off in a wonderful and inspiring performance! I cannot wait to see what he takes on next. 

NEMPAC May 2017 Student of the Month – Sophie Caulder! 

Congratulations Sophie! Here’s what Executive Director Sherri Snow had to say about working with Sophie: 

“Sophia is a new student this spring at NEMPAC and is improving by leaps and bounds after only half a session! She is demonstrating more confidence in singing, and commitment to her music studies – especially with plans to study both piano and voice during the summer! She always comes into her lessons with a smile on her face and the willingness to learn more! Sophia is currently working on vocal selections from Beauty and the Beast and next fall we look forward to her auditioning for solo opportunities in her choral program at St. John School! Congratulations, Sophie!” 

NEMPAC April 2017 Student of the Month – Lisa Ayres!  

Congratulations Lisa! Xiao Lan Ruan, her instructor, had the following to say about Lisa: 

“Lisa Ayres deserves to be recognized as student of the month. She has been a NEMPAC student for over ten years, and even though she is a wife and mother she takes piano seriously and practices often. Lisa loves all kinds of music, from Mozart to well known musical tunes such as “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”. At lessons she takes time to discuss with me the styles of each piece she learns and pays attention to technical details. She enjoys performing at all NEMPAC fund raisers and recitals where she is always appreciated.” – Xiao Lan Ruan, Instructor


NEMPAC March 2017 Student of the Month – Thomas Toponarski!  

Congratulations to our April Student of the Month, piano student Thomas Toponarski! Check out what his Instructor, Nicole Kootz, has to say: 

“When Thomas came to his first piano lesson he was already working out “Do Re Mi” from the Sound of Music by ear.  Since then he has learned all of the note names, more than 4 new songs, and can play many of these from memory.  He always shows up with a smile, even after a long day at school, and loves being able to complete a new song or skill without the help from his teacher.”

NEMPAC February 2017 Student of the Month – Sarah Foley! 

Congratulations to our February Student of the Month, guitar student Sarah Foley! Check out what her Instructor, Jack Byrne, has to say: 
“Sarah began playing the guitar when she was only four years old, and I have been her teacher for the past two and a half years. Sarah is an incredibly bright student who picks up new songs and musical concepts very quickly. In our time together she has played songs like “Another One Bites the Dust,” by Queen, “Welcome to New York,” by Taylor Swift, and “Try Everything,” from the movie “Zootopia.” Sarah‘s excitement about music and dedication to the guitar make her a joy to work with and I can’t wait to see where she goes from here!”

NEMPAC January 2017 Student of the Month – Chloe Greene!  File_000 (1)

Congratulations to our January Student of the Month, clarinetist Chloe Greene! Here’s what her instructor, Educational Programs Director Manda Shepherd, has to say:

“Chloe has been playing clarinet for over three years, and has been a student of mine for over two. Throughout our time together she has worked harder than any young musician I’ve taught, and has made incredible improvements. Chloe is constantly trying to learn more about music, and is the first to say yes to a new performance, exercise, or piece. She has even challenged me to push her by looking for competitions and music festivals to participate in. Her hard work has been paying off in successful performances and in being placed as first clarinet in her school ensemble! Chloe has inspired me as an instructor to do more for all my students. I am so incredibly proud of the work she has done, and what she is planning to do in the future.”


NEMPAC December 2016 Student of the Month – Shannon Raneri

Congratulations to our December Ssom-shannon-renaritudent of the Month, the talented Shannon Raneri! Here are some words from her instructor, Kimberly Littlefield:

“January 1, 2017 is a special milestone for Shannon: she’ll have been studying flute – and music generally – for just 100 days. Because of her positive attitude and dedication to practicing, however, you would think she’s been playing for much more. Shannon has not only enjoyed learning to play music as it’s written, but is also using her own creativity to write some melodies too. I’m so proud of how far Shannon’s come and look forward to hearing her grow more.”

NEMPAC November 201img_3932-16 Student of the Month – Austin Marill

Congratulations to our November Students of the Month, the dedicated Austin Marill! Here’s what his instructor, Kathryn McKellar has to say about him:

“Austin arrives to his lesson prepared and with a great attitude.  He is willing to tackle any task, even when he faces a new concept or a difficult musical passage.  Austin takes feedback well and also brings new ideas to his music playing. When Austin is not playing piano he can be found at his favorite Boston hot-spot “The Museum of Science” or listening to “The Beatles”.  His goal is to one day play “Sargent Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”.”



NEMPAC October 2016 Student of the Month – Chiara Haskell-Occhipintisom-no-text

Congratulations to our October Student of the Month, Chiara Haskell-Occhipinti! Here are some words from her teacher, Rhaea D’Aliesio:

“Chiara comes to her lesson ready to learn with a positive attitude, and an open heart and mind. I can tell that she has put in thought and energy during the week, and truly invests herself personally in each piece. She has made great improvement and there is so much more to come!”

 NEMPAC September 2016 Student of the Month – Evan Dedels unnamed

Congratulations to our September Student of the Month, Evan Dedels! Here are some words from his teacher, Ben Xia.

 “As one of the youngest students in my piano studio, Evan Dedels is a talented piano learner who has made remarkable progress.  In 9 months of piano study at NEMPAC, Evan has finished his 1st piano book and performed at NEMPAC’s annual recital. At his current age, Evan is also one of a few students who practice piano on a daily basis. Evan shows a good example of piano study for a young child.”