Two Mater Dei Prep Seraph Players Named Finalists for Algonquin Arts Theater Rising Stars

On Friday, November 2, 2018, Yancheng “Cash” Zhang ‘MDP20 and Jacob Callas ‘MDP19, were named finalists for the Algonquin Arts Theater Rising Stars. Yancheng “Cash” Zhang was named a finalist for his opera performance of “Caro Mio Ben” in Italian while Jacob Callas was selected for his piano performance of "Scriabin Prelude Opus 13 Number 1." Yancheng “Cash” Zhang and Jacob Callas are both valued members of the Mater Dei Prep Performing Arts Institute and Seraph Players.

Algonquin Arts Theater Rising Stars is a music education and enrichment program for the best high school classical musicians and vocalists in New Jersey. Entering its 20th year in 2018, Rising Stars is a classical music competition that concludes with all the selected finalists performing in a concert at Algonquin Arts Theater in Manasquan, New Jersey. The program is open to all high school students in the State of New Jersey and features a guest mentor who will provide feedback to each finalist on the concert day.

“I am extremely honored to be selected as a finalist for the Algonquin Rising Stars. This will be a tremendous asset on my college application and will help me achieve my dream of being part of the Metropolitan Opera. I would like to thank all my fellow performers in the Seraph Players, Mrs. Cindy Dwyer, Head of the Mater Dei Prep Performing Arts Institute and Ms. Nadine Herman, voice teacher at Newark School of the Arts, for all their support, wisdom and guidance in making this possible,” said Cash Zhang ‘MDP20.

Participants in the Rising Stars program were selected through a highly competitive audition process. The theater receives numerous entries from students all across New Jersey and only a limited number of applicants are ultimately selected. Students were required to submit an application as well as a recording of a classical music selection that, if selected as a finalist, would perform in concert at Algonquin Arts Theater on Wednesday, November 14, 2018.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to perform in front of a renowned mentor that will provide me tremendous feedback and help me progress my talent. I have always loved playing the piano and excited to perform on the big stage at the Algonquin Arts Theater. It is an honor to be recognized as a finalist amongst the top musicians in New Jersey. I would like to thank Mr. Patricio Molina, piano teacher at Newark School of the Arts for all his support and instruction over the years,” said Jacob Callas “MDP19.
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