Wheatley’s Winter Concert (Part 1) Kicks Off the Season!

Earlier this evening, the first of our two Winter Concerts took place in the Wheatley Auditorium. The concert program included the following groups:

  • Intermediate Orchestra (Angela Luftig, Director)
  • Concert Orchestra (Stan Orlovsky, Director)
  • Chorale (Angela Luftig, Director; Rick Wilson, accompanist)
  • Honors String Ensemble (Angela Luftig, Director)
  • Symphonic Orchestra (Stan Orlovsky, Director)

We are thankful for the wonderful work of our faculty, the incredible efforts of our students and the terrific support of our community!

Kajal Kapoor is the Newest Wheatley Idol!

On Friday night, the Wheatley auditorium was filled with spectators enjoying the 14th edition of Tri-M’s Wheatley Idol! Hosted by Ashley Vincenzo and Brenda Zhong, the evening featured performances from nine incredibly talented competitors. From these nine initial competitors, four finalists were selected by our “celebrity” judges: Ms. Calvagno, Mr. Gadamowitz and Mr. Orlovsky. These four finalists then performed another song and the winner was selected by audience vote.

This year’s ten competitors were:

Charlotte Iannone

Julia Dioguardi

Sarah Amselem

Brianna Werny

Jaime Behar

Kajal Kapoor

Krittika Prajapati

Emma Melnikov

Shruti Goyal


From these nine initial competitors, the four finalists selected were: Shruti Goyal, Emma Melnikov, Kajal Kapoor and Brianna Werny! Each of these finalists performed another song for the audience.

Shruti Goyal, Round 2

Brianna Werny, Round 2

Emma Melnikov, Round 2

Kajal Kapoor, Round 2


After these three performances, the audience voted. When the vote count came in, Kajal Kapoor was declared the winner of Wheatley Idol XIV! She performed one more song for the audience:

Thank you to our Tri-M students and our Tri-M Advisor (Angela Luftig) for all of their work putting together this wonderful evening!

Here are some photos from the event:

Allison and Brandon Earn NYSSMA Recognition!

Earlier this month, two of our Wheatley student-musicians were selected as 2018 New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) All-State musicians. These students were chosen out of thousands of students who auditioned for this honor at solo and ensemble festivals throughout New York State last spring.

Congratulations to Allison Keller (viola) and Brandon Zhu (violin). Allison will play with Symphonic Orchestra at the NYSSMA All-State conference in December, and Brandon will serve as an alternate.

Meet our 2018 Wheatley Medalists!

The final recognition given during our Academic Awards Evening is The Wheatley Medal. Presented by the Wheatley Principal, the Wheatley Medal seeks to highlight a senior boy and girl who have exemplified the highest standards of scholarship, ethical conduct and service to school and community.

Here is what was said during the presentation of this year’s medalists, Ananya Bansal and Justin Vega.

The first recipient is known for her warm smile, sharp intellect, athletic skills, leadership, and compassion towards others.  As a change maker, she is always willing to step out of her comfort zone to enhance her life and the lives of others. A catalyst for group discussion, she asks the insightful and critical questions that engage the group and gets everyone involved.

Virtually every teacher looks to her leadership in the classroom where she leads group discussions, poses provocative questions for discussion and assists her fellow classmates. This student has a myriad of interests and is never afraid to take advantage of any challenges or opportunities that may cross her path.

Incredibly well-rounded, she is a scientist, writer, athlete, leader, and activist— as well as an individual who will never compromise her own ideals. A quiet leader, she eschews the spotlight as she goes about her many activities. The Class of 2018 has been fortunate to have her leadership and engagement, and our school is a better place because of her presence.

Please join me in congratulating Ananya Bansal as one of this year’s recipients of The Wheatley Medal!


The next recipient of the Wheatley Medal is truly a Renaissance Man. A thoughtful and passionate scholar, a creative and talented musician, an irreverent and fearless actor, and a quiet yet persuasive leader, he has left an impact in so many areas of our school. In fact, many of us cannot imagine Wheatley without this young man!

He has worked in some capacity on stage or behind the scenes for almost every one of our Tri-M or WTC productions. With a true love of music, he has competed in Wheatley’s Got Talent, played in his church rock band, performed with the Jazz Band and played with the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra. His creativity and technical skills are well known through the videos he has created for Showdown or Tri-M.

Due to his thoughtful analysis, passionate discussions and deep understanding of the many connections across different subjects, his teachers describe him as someone who makes everyone in the class better. There are very few high school students who can receive the many accolades he has amassed and still remain humble and unpretentious. We are all part of his fan club!

You have already heard his name this evening, and you will certainly be hearing his name in the years ahead! Please join me in congratulating the second recipient of the Wheatley Medal, Justin Vega.

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Spring Concert (Part 2) Wraps Up the 2017-18 Season!

The second of our two spring concerts was held earlier this evening (Tuesday, 5 June) in the Wheatley Auditorium. The evening featured our Intermediate Orchestra (under the direction of Angela Luftig), our Concert Orchestra (under the direction of Stan Orlovsky), our Chorale (under the direction of Angela Luftig with Rick Wilson as accompanist), our Honors String Ensemble (under the direction of Angela Luftig) and our Symphonic Orchestra (under the direction of Stan Orlovsky).

The concert featured scores of student performers, with 20 of them being members of the Class of 2018. These graduating students have committed countless hours to our music program over the years. We are grateful for their participation and wish them a music-filled life as they graduate from Wheatley!

The graduating seniors include:

  • Sufia Ainechi
  • Adeel Anwar
  • Michaela Balboni
  • Devyn Bennett
  • Rachel Bergsohn
  • Roxane Ghadami
  • Megan Klein
  • Vani Kumar
  • Luke Mazzeo
  • Erin Patterson
  • Jessica Poomkudy
  • Anusha Ramnarayan
  • Amanda Roit
  • Saman Suleman
  • Justin Vega
  • Ally Wang
  • Emily Wang
  • Aiden Wong
  • Carol Wu
  • Ann Yan

A special part of this concert was the tribute to Rachel May, our North Side orchestra teacher, who is retiring at the end of this year. Justin Vega provided a powerful statement as to Mrs. May’s impact on the students performing tonight.

Another special part of the concert was the debut of Justin Vega’s original piece, Serendipity, performed by our Symphonic Orchestra and conducted by Justin Vega.