Return to Headlines

RFH Introduces Its Own Award Winning Composer



RFH Introduces Its Own Award Winning Composer


Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School is proud to announce that Senior Hayden Marciszewski has been named the Grand Prize Winner of the New Jersey Music Education Association’s 2020-2021 Young Composers Competition.   Hayden, an accomplished pianist, guitarist, bassist and integral member of both the RFH Music Program and Tri-M Music Honor Society, submitted his original, instrumental composition, “An Angry Young Man” in December and was announced as the winner at the finals which took place on January 30th, 2021.  His video performance aired at the virtual New Jersey Music Educators Conference this past week, on February, 18-20, 2021.


As stated on their website, “The mission of the New Jersey Music Educators Association is the advancement of music instruction in New Jersey’s educational institutions at all levels that provide in-service and enrichment opportunities for practicing and retired teachers and prospective music educators, as well as sponsoring various festivals and all-state performing groups for K-12 students.”  The extremely prestigious Young Composers Competition is now in its 12th year, and encourages the most talented and promising high school musicians from all over the state to submit original compositions in both instrumental and vocal divisions and judges submissions on both the composition itself as well as student interview regarding their creative process.  Hayden’s winning submission, as well as those of the other finalists, can be heard on the NJMEA’s website.


In composing his piece, “An Angry Young Man”, a solo cello piece that he wrote last summer, Hayden notes his inspiration as the frustration and anger he felt during his junior year of high school amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic. He shares, “It was a difficult year for me academically and socially. I was feeling a lot of pressure from people for everything I was doing inside and outside of school. This piece is like a culmination of my feelings and exasperation for the whole year, including the transition to virtual learning, compliments of Covid.”  This wasn’t Hayden’s first submission to the NJMEA Composition Competition; he has been submitting pieces since 8th grade and was selected as a finalist three times prior to being selected Grand Prize Winner' this year.  According to Hayden, “When I heard the news, I was overtaken with joy and just so thankful for the support I’ve received from teachers and family during my musical journey. But honestly, none of this would’ve been possible without my parents’ guidance and support.”


Hayden’s formal musical journey began when started piano at age five. He has been classically trained ever since and for the past eight years, he has studied under Russian pianist, Marina Strakovsky. Under her tutelage, Hayden has had the opportunity to perform six times at Carnegie Hall and to be recognized for his hard work, talent and accomplishments on the keys.  Hayden only recently began studying composition professionally with Nick DiBerardino after writing his first original solo piano piece a few years back and realizing that he wanted to pursue composition.  Outside of these influences, Hayden credits his participation in the RFH music program as an important part of his recent growth, “RFH has really helped me make connections with other artists and grow as a musician and performer. Learning how to work with others is imperative as a composer/musician, and I owe a lot to Mr. Zach Lorelli for providing ample opportunities to promote myself. Many of the classes were very enjoyable including Songwriting because it pushed me to write and create new songs completely out of my comfort zone.”


Hayden has also made a name for himself as an academic standout at RFH and when he isn’t playing with the Concert and Jazz Bands, String Ensemble or singing with the Tower Singers Choir, he devotes his time and talents to activities as a member of the National and National French Honor Societies. Mr. Herman, Supervisor of World Language, Fine and Performing Arts and Physical Education and Health, has observed Hayden’s many contributions to the RFH community throughout the past three and a half years, “I am thrilled that Hayden has been recognized for his musical contributions in this way.  Not only is Hayden a talented musician, but he is also generous, hard-working, and just a great person.”


Despite the challenges to the typical high school and musical performance experiences that COVID has brought, Hayden has found ways to continue to share his musical talents and plans to pursue a Bachelors in Music, majoring in Composition and minoring in Creative Writing/Poetry/Songwriting.  Wherever Hayden ends up, he hopes to learn and write for as many different genres as possible, and bring people together by writing music that embraces the problems that people face but also helps identify the things they share in common. While RFH will be sad to see Hayden leave our halls, we will watch and listen for all of his wonderful performances to come!


Please visit to listen to Hayden Marciszewski’s original piece, “Angry Young Man.”


Hayden playing the piano.