Music Student Wins PICTURES 2009 Student Composition Contest

Thomas Oltarzewski, a junior at the Cali School of Music, has been awarded a Grand Prize in the New Jersey Arts Collective (NJAC) state-wide Student Composition Contest, Pictures 2009. A native of Toms River, Tom studies composition with Robert Aldridge, tutors students in theory, and is in the MSU honors program. Students were asked to write a piece for percussion quartet inspired by the painting, "Queensborough Bridge," by artist Elise Driggs. The judges chose four Grand Prize winners and one Honorable Mention winner from a large pool of entries by students from across New Jersey.

The NJAC honored all the contest winners on Sunday, April 26 at the Montclair Art Museum in Montclair, NJ.  The afternoon began with a special museum tour for Contest winners, their families and school administrators.  The tour was followed by a pre-Concert panel, “Meet the Composers,” with the Concert and awards presentation.  The concert, featuring the Exit 9 Percussion Group, included World Premiere performances of pieces by all Grand prize winners, the 2009 Ionisation commission, SPAN, by New Jersey composer, Darren Gage, as well as selections from the percussion ensemble literature.    Pictures 2009 is sponsored by the NJAC new music ensemble, Ionisation, in conjunction with the Montclair Art Museum.

The mission of NJAC is to promote the art and artists of New Jersey, and some of the most important artists of the next generation are those emerging from our state’s educational institutions.