Morris Arts announces 2018 Ehlers and Coladarci Arts Scholarship Winners

On the evening of March 15, 2018 Morris Arts will introduce Pianist John Duc-Tuan Nguyen, winner of the Elaine Ehlers Arts Scholarship (of $5,000), and actress Nicole Giordano, winner of the Eugenie Coladarci Arts Scholarship (of $1,500), at the opening reception for approaching VIBRANCY, the new exhibit in the Gallery at 14 Maple.


This year’s Ehlers Scholarship winner, John Duc-Tuan Nguyen, is a graduating senior at The Academy for Mathematics, Science and Engineering in Rockaway. He plans to double major (or possibly minor) in music performance in college. Winning 3rd place in the 8th Chopin International Piano Competition, Grand Prix in the National Young Musician Showcase Competition and IMAS Talented Young Musician Olympia Competition, and garnering top places in numerous other national and international competitions, Nguyen has performed as a soloist at Carnegie’s Weill and Zankel Halls, NJPAC and Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall.  His piano teacher described him as “truly gifted,”  “exciting,” a “striking talent,” with a “marvelous musical imagination for both lines and colors.”  For his application, Nguyen’s outstanding performances of two very difficult works (Lizst/Schumann Dedication [Widmung], op. 25, no.1 and Chopin’s Sonata in B minor,Op. 58, Movement IV: Finale. Presto non Tanto; Agitato) demonstrated his musical maturity, poise, precision, exceptional technical skills, keen understanding of structure and “voicing,” clarity of line, poetic expressiveness, wide dynamic range, and unique flair in performance. As a pianist, he is that rare combination of formidable technique coupled with a profound understanding of the music.

This year’s Coladarci Scholarship winner is actress Nicole Giordano, a graduating senior at Mountain Lakes High School who plans to pursue a BFA in acting at college.  With advanced training at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Boston University’s Summer Theater Institute, she was a finalist at the Governor’s Awards for the Speech and Theatre Association of NJ (besting nearly 500 competitors),  won the Best Leading Actress award at the Bucks County Theatre Festival,  and was one of 15 chosen from among 2,500 applicants for NYU’s Tisch Future Theater Artists Program. Her drama teacher stated, “This girl’s natural talents far outweigh those of many working actors today.”

Visual artist Coral Coad, a graduating senior at West Morris Mendham High School, received Honorable Mention.  The judges were unanimous in these choices. Congratulations to all!