Flutist John Ray Awarded 2015 Cynthia Platt Prize For Young Musicians by BONJ
by Anne Plaut
Flutist John Ray, of Warren, has been awarded the 2015 Cynthia Platt Prize, given by The Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey, to encourage the musical studies of young, classical musicians.
The award is presented in memory of Cynthia Platt, an area musician, who was a “valued musical colleague and friend,” said Dr. Robert W. Butts, founder, music director and conductor of the Orchestra. She was actively involved in activities to encourage young musicians.
John, a senior at Watchung Hills Regional High School, has participated in many ensembles, master classes, competitions and recitals, which have given him experience crucial to being a masterful musician. A student of Diane Charos Reilly of Bridgewater, he has played in the NJ All-State Orchestra as a sophomore, playing the alto flute solo for Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloe Suite No. 2. That year he was also selected as a member of the Macy’s Great American Marching Band, a national band that consists of high school students from around the country to march in the Macy’s annual Thanksgiving Day parade.
John performed Sonatine, by Pierre Sancan, at the recent opening concert for The Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey’s 20th anniversary year celebration, at Dolan Hall, College of Saint Elizabeth, Morristown.
Now in his third year with the NJ Youth Symphony, John has been in the Flute Forum and served as principal for the debut year of the group, Fortissimo Flutes, a flute octet that performed in such venues as the Union County PAC. He was the second-place winner of the New Jersey Flute Society concerto competition, sponsored by Drew University.
John is also a member of the New York Youth Symphony and has participated in their chamber music programs. His group, Blueprint, performed in master classes with esteemed flutist, Tara O’Connor, and renowned pianist, Gilbert Kalish.
The Cynthia Platt Scholarship awards are one part of the Orchestra’s mission to support the development of young musicians. The Pearl & Julius Young Music Competition, held annually in March, is another part of this mission. Winners of the competition have an opportunity to play with the Orchestra, usually during the Summer Music Festival in August. Many young artists are members of the Orchestra as well.
BONJ President Jo Ann Bates presents the 2015 Cynthia Platt Scholarship to flutist John Ray
John Ray with Maestro Robert W. Butts