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Posted Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

2017 Scholarship Winners are oboist Ethan Whang and soprano Lila Dunn

Morris Arts has announced the 2017 winners of its annual Elaine Ehlers and Eugenie Coladarci arts scholarships for graduating high school seniors are Ethan Whang of Mountain Lakes High School and Lila Dunn of West Morris Mendham High School.

Morris Arts Announces 2017 Scholarships Winners  -- Graduating Seniors from Mountain Lakes and West Morris Mendham High Schools

Ethan Whang

Ethan Whang, a graduating senior at Mountain Lakes High School, will be attending Harvard University, where he plans to study chamber music and conducting. He has studied oboe and English horn at the Juilliard Pre-College Division and with teachers drawn from the Metropolitan Opera and NYC Ballet Orchestras.

The principal oboist and English horn player in the NJ Youth Symphony, Ethan was one of only two Americans selected internationally for the Verbier International Music Festival in Switzerland, where he was principal oboist. His school counselor called him “brilliant and inquisitive.” His Juilliard oboe instructor praised him lavishly, citing his passion and outstanding artistic ability.

The panel was impressed not only by Ethan’s advanced technique but also by his mature musicianship, versatility, clarity of articulation, intonation, depth of expression, artistry and the sheer beauty of his sound.

Lila Dunn distinguished herself as the top ranked soprano in All-National, All-State, Regional and County choral competitions and has pursued extensive private voice lessons. Her experienced voice teacher called her “one of the most exceptional students I have ever had the pleasure of teaching” …and cited Lila’s “immense talent and musical intuition beyond her years.”

Morris Arts Announces 2017 Scholarships Winners  -- Graduating Seniors from Mountain Lakes and West Morris Mendham High Schools

Lila Dunn

Here, too, the panel was greatly impressed by the advanced skills of this young musician: her facility in difficult passagework, large vocal range, clear diction, accurate intonation, sensitive phrasing and expressive use of a naturally beautiful voice.

In this highly competitive year, two outstanding dancers, Kaitlyn Dal Bon and Briele MeLahn, both students at Morris Knolls High School, merited Honorable Mention. The judges were unanimous in their choices.

Each year Morris Arts offers two scholarship opportunities for graduating high school seniors who have exhibited artistic excellence in dance, drama, music, or visual arts and plan to pursue post-secondary studies at an accredited institution or acknowledged arts school or fine arts program.

The Elaine Ehlers Arts Scholarship, in the amount of $5,000, and the Eugenie Coladarci Arts Scholarship, in the amount of $1,500, were created to recognize artistic excellence, encourage the artists of the future, and to celebrate the value of the arts to the human experience.

Morris County high school seniors graduating in June 2017 who are currently attending public, private, or parochial school in New Jersey were eligible.Morrisarts logo

The Ehlers Scholarship was established in 2002 in memory of Elaine Ehlers (1953-2001), a health-care administrator by profession, who had a voracious appetite for all things artistic and musical.  She derived intellectual and emotional sustenance from the arts and supported programs at many museums and musical institutions.  By establishing this scholarship, an enduring legacy has been created to reward those who possess artistic talent and who plan to further their arts education.

The Coladarci Scholarship was first awarded in 1999 in memory of Eugenie R. Coladarci, who was Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations at Chase Manhattan Bank and an active member of Morris Arts for eleven years. She was completing her first term as Board Chair when she passed away in 1997.  As a statewide champion of the arts, Genie encouraged the development of young artists and believed in the value of the arts to the quality of life.  The idea of a scholarship to assist talented young people wishing to continue their study in the arts was very important to her.

The winners will be introduced at the March 8 opening reception for Common Ground, the new exhibit in the Gallery at 14 Maple (3rd floor, 14 Maple Ave., Morristown). The free reception, scheduled from 6-8 p.m.,  is open to the public.

Morris Arts, located in Morristown, NJ, is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1973 dedicated to building community through the arts. Using the arts to inspire, connect and engage, Morris Arts serves as a resource for Morris County with a special focus on arts programming in the schools and in the community, arts advocacy, and support of the Morris Area community of artists and arts organizations.