ARMONK – Now that he’s been there twice, H.C. Crittenden seventh-grader Jack Skiera knows his way around Carnegie Hall. Both times, the 11-year-old cellist has been there as a performer.
His most recent visit occurred in January when he placed second in his age group for his performance of Edward Elgar's "Cello Concerto 1st Movement" in the Korea Radio Broadcast NY International Music Competition.
Crittenden orchestra teacher Kathy Shelhart said Skiera makes major contributions when playing in the school’s string orchestra and chamber ensemble.
“Jack has been an outstanding leader and mentor,” she said. “He demonstrates good cello technique and reading skills, and he sets a high standard for the entire orchestra when he plays with his beautiful, rich tone.”
Shelhart added that Skiera recently participated in the New York State School Music Association’s annual assessment, performing at Solo Level 6, the highest possible, where he achieved a perfect score of 100.
Skiera’s mom, Sophie, said her son began playing the cello when he was seven years old and devotes hours every day to practice. But she’s not sure where exactly his talent and passion originated.
“We love music, but we don’t play any instruments,” she said of her and her husband.
Byram Hills Fine Arts Director Joy Varley is excited Skiera is receiving recognition outside of school.
“He’s always been a very active part of the school music program, both at Wampus and Crittenden,” she said. “I’m really proud of what he’s been able to accomplish. It’s very nice to see him get this recognition.”