Bishop Noll receives 10 Music Gold Medals – Makes History

Bishop Noll Institute’s band recently made history at the Indiana State School Music Association (ISSMA) competition. All competitors from Bishop Noll scored gold medals for the first time in school history.

Students Nyree Ruiz, of Hammond; Rebecca Carlos, of Hammond; Hanna Abuzead, of Hammond; Arianna Magallanes, of Hammond; Alessandra Lopez, of Hammond; Abigail Wojtaszek, of Hammond; Alexis Vega, of East Chicago; Kylie McCabe, of South Holland; MacKenzie Halas, of Griffith; and Berenice Manuel, of East Chicago; all had to prepare and submit their pieces virtually along with more than 800 other school participants from around the state. Songs were judged and scored by music adjudicators. 

“I love this process,” said Rocco Carioto, BNI band director. “I receive back a much more accomplished player and they become leaders in the band through their sacrifice and hard work. These kids have proven that pandemic or not, if you keep pushing forward and raising the bar, nothing can stop you.”

Bishop Noll junior Abigail Wojtaszek has played the clarinet for six years and is learning the cello. She practiced the song “Spirit Dance” for several weeks prior to the ISSMA competition.    

Bishop Noll sophomore Rebecca Carlos plays the flute and has played since seventh grade. For ISSMA, she played a solo called “Adagio.” She also competed as part of a trio performing the song “trio 3” with Ruiz and Abuzead.

Freshman Berenice Manuel recently started to learn the violin in Bishop Noll’s band class. She performed “Claire de lune” on the violin for the ISSMA competition. 

Fellow freshman violin player Mackenzie Halas also performed the piece “Claire de lune.” Halas began to relearn the violin this year at Bishop Noll, having taken lessons in the past.    

At Bishop Noll, band is a course offering for all students. The school is currently enrolling students for Fall 2021. Visit bishopnoll.org for more information, or contact Jeff Stur, director of admissions, at jstur@bishopnoll.org or (219) 932-9058, ext. 1008.

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Sue Baxter