New Jersey Stage 2015 - Issue 11 - Page 97

For the past four years, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) has hosted the Sarah Vaughan International Vocal Competition in honor of the great jazz singer born and raised in Newark, NJ. On Sunday, November 15, the competition’s five finalists competed for a chance at the grand prize — a the c ompetition was Angela Hagenbach from Kansas City, who was awarded a $1,500 cash prize, and the third place winner was Nicole Zuraitis from Brooklyn, who received a $500 cash award. Emma Lee Aboukasm and Lulu Fall rounded out the finalists. “I cannot accurately put into I cannot accurately put into words how grateful, honored, humbled, and downright excited I am to have won recording contract with Concord Records, a $5,000 cash prize, and a slot at the 2016 Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, sponsored by TD Bank. Arianna Neikrug, a Miami-based jazz/pop/R&B vocalist originally from Los Angeles, was named the winner. The second place winner of NewJerseyStage.com words how grateful, honored, humbled, and downright excited I am to have won,” exclaimed Neikrug. “This is just the first step of a long, incredibly fulfilling, beautiful life of music for me.” Only 22 years old, Neikrug graduated from the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music 2015 - ISSUE 11 ARTICLES 97