Boynton Beach resident and Santaluces High School senior Dion Sellitti is the winner
Wellington resident and Dreyfoos School of the Arts senior Ellen Dahlstrom is honored as the runner-up
Palm Beach Symphony recognized Santaluces High School senior Dion Sellitti with the 2021-22 Lisa B-Major Award. The Boynton Beach resident will receive a Selmer Paris Series II Jubilee model baritone saxophone as part of the program that awards an advanced level instrument that can be used for college auditions and to launch a lifetime in music.
Sellitti has represented Palm Beach in the FBA All-County Bands, All-County Jazz Bands and All-State Symphonic Bands. He has passed preliminary auditions at the University of Miami where he may one day study with Palm Beach Symphony Music Director Gerard Schwarz. Sellitti says his goals are to earn a master’s degree in performance and potentially join one of the Armed Forces Bands.
Tyler Nunziato, Sellitti’s band director, nominated him for the award writing “Dion is an extremely motivated, passionate, and dedicated student of the performing arts. Not only is he extremely talented and well-rounded as a musician, but his goal is to always help others reach and tap into the potential that other students have, regardless of age, section or ensemble they are in.”
The announcement of the winner was made in the glamorous Venetian Ballroom at the iconic Breakers Palm Beach during the sold-out Palm Beach Symphony 20th Annual Gala. Sellitti delighted the gala guests by performing Bach’s Cello Suite #1 Gigue. He performed on his baritone saxophone from school as his advanced level instrument from Paris has been delayed by shipping issues.
Wellington resident Ellen Dahlstrom was honored as runner up. A student at the Dreyfoos School of the Arts, she has received Solo & Ensemble Superior Awards. Like her father Todd, who is a Symphony Board Member, she is committed to others and started Young Musicians of the Palm Beaches to give student musicians in Palm Beach County paid performance opportunities in the community. She has held several positions in the high school’s band department including librarian, vice president and president. She received a Howarth XL-VT Grenadilla wood professional oboe as her prize which she can use as she pursues her plans in classical music and attend one of the nation’s renowned conservatories.
The honorees were determined by audition with finalists participating in an interview and playing two contrasting musical works before of a panel of judges. Both students worked closely with Palm Beach Symphony to identify, test and select their ideal instrument.
Sellitti and Dahlstrom will take part in a free outdoor concert at Meyer Amphitheater on Saturday, May 21 with Palm Beach Symphony musicians and students from the Dreyfoos School of the Arts.
Nominations will reopen in the fall for next year’s awards. Eligible students must be current high school seniors in the fall and in good academic standing who are planning to enter a music degree program at a university or institution of higher learning. Nominations are accepted from music teachers and private instructors and are judged upon the nominee’s accomplishments and activities (academic, musical and in the community), future musical plans and financial need.
The Palm Beach Symphony’s education programs are made possible through support from The Paul and Sandra Goldner Conservatory of Music, Lois Pope, the Frederick A. DeLuca Foundation, Mr. William Robertson, James R. Borynack and Adolfo Zaralegui/Findlay Galleries, Eric Friedheim Foundation, Inc. and The Mary Hilem Taylor Foundation.
The Lachman Family Foundation, Patrick and Milly Park, Felicia Taylor/The Mary Hilem Taylor Foundation, DeLuca Foundation, Leonard and Norma Klorfine Foundation, Charles and Ann Johnson/The C and A Johnson Family Foundation, Patricia Lambrecht, Dodie and Manley Thaler and the Thaler/Howell Foundation, NetJets, Lugano Diamonds, Findlay Galleries, HSS Florida, PNC Private Bank, The Colony Hotel, Related Companies, Provident Jewelry, IYC, Palm Beach Design Masters, Braman Motorcars, CIBC Private Wealth, and Gent Row LLC are proud sponsors of Palm Beach Symphony. Programs are also sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.