Basie Center education update: Winter session, Seussical Jr., All-School Recital + more!


(January 17, 2020) A new year has arrived at the Count Basie Center Academy of the Arts!

The Academy’s winter session began earlier this week, with the start of classes in our School of Performing Arts, individual and ensemble lessons in our School Of Music, tryouts and early rehearsals for our upcoming Broadway junior production of Mary Poppins, and – last but not least – a pair of mesmerizing public performances.

Seussical, Jr.

Seussical Jr.Nearly 1,000 patrons packed the Basie Center’s Hackensack Meridian Health Theatre on January 12th for our Academy’s junior production of Seussical Jr. The ensemble cast of more than 40 students sung through some of Suess’ most beloved childhood tales, with characters like The Cat In The Hat, the Grinch, Horton, Jojo and Amayzing Mayzie.

It was the largest crowd to date for an Academy junior production, and based on that audience response, they would not, could not contain their joy.

“Parents, friends and families of our Academy performers were very enthusiastic about Seussical, Jr. – as were members of the general public, who are becoming bigger fans of our junior productions” said Yvonne Scudiery, Vice President / Education, Count Basie Center for the Arts. “Dr. Seuss’ whimsical rhymes and colorful characters are perfect for the stage, and our students happily and confidently  jumped into their roles.”

(GALLERY: Count Basie Center Academy production of Seussical, Jr.)

Basie Academy Conservatory All-School RecitalAll-School Recital

Meanwhile, just blocks away in the beautiful rotunda of Ocean First headquarters on Front Street, students from the Basie Center’s School Of Music performed a two-day, all-school recital. More than 90 students participated in the recital, which School Of Music director Dr. Lucy Chen says was an overwhelming success. “We truly owe congratulations to all our students on a beautiful performance this weekend,” said Dr. Chen. “These young musicians played beautifully, and we are impressed by their tremendous progress this term.”

The spring semester all-school recital will be held on the weekend of June 6-7.

(GALLERY: Count Basie Center Academy School Of Music All-School Recital)Jasey Perez


And speaking of the Basie Academy Conservatory, student Jasey Perez of Wall High School was one of four oboists selected to perform in the All-State Regions Band Competition last weekend! She was one of 115 students selected from New Jersey’s best young musicians to perform in the Region II symphony band, alongside other talented  musicians from Hunterdon, Mercer, Somerset and Middlesex counties. Congratulations Jasey!