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The People Who Make it Happen

Mockingbird Melody (MBM) is composed of high school volunteers who are always ready and passionate about spreading the beauty of music to their community. 

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NaYoung Yang

Founder

Violinist NaYoung Yang studied violin performance at the Juilliard Pre-College with Dr. Ann Setzer from 2009 to 2014, and with Dr. Eugenia Choi. During the Pre-College, she also studied piano as a secondary instrument with Ms. Adelaide Roberts. During college, she studied violin with Prof. Soovin Kim of the New England Conservatory of Music. She debuted as a soloist at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center as a winner of the 2010 New York International Music Competition, and won ~20 national and international music competitions since her first win in 2008. NaYoung played 10 times as a soloist with various orchestras in NY, NJ, and PA, gave four solo recitals and frequently played as a soloist and chamber in various venues. During college, she played as a concertmistress at a few concerts of the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra (HRO) and was a concertmaster of Harvard College Opera. She served as President of the HRO in 2017 and is currently a Board Member of the HRO Foundation. She is a former soloist and concertmaster of the London Doctors Orchestra and Choir during the 2019 season.

After receiving her BA from Harvard University in 2018, she earned her Master of Public Health from Imperial College London in 2019. She is currently a medical student at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School as a Global Health Scholar.

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President

Evelyn Chao is a senior attending East Brunswick High School. She has been in Mockingbird Melody for the past four years and has been president for the past three. Evelyn has played the violin for 9 years and has also played the piano for 11. In the NJ Solo and Ensemble Festival, Evelyn received gold medals on both violin and piano with a perfect score on violin. She is also the 2-time assistant concertmaster and President of the Bravura Youth Orchestra and also plays with the award-winning Bravura Philharmonic Orchestra. Beyond MBM, Evelyn furthers her passion for music through an organization called Helping Harmony, where she works to provide free instruments and private music lessons to refugee children across New Jersey. In her free time, Evelyn loves spending time with her friends, teaching piano, cooking, and playing volleyball.

Meet The Team

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Keshav Ramesh

Cello
Vice President

Keshav Ramesh has played the cello for seven years, beginning his journey in the East Brunswick orchestra program. His passion for music has only grown as time continued. Keshav has played in both the CIMEA Regional Orchestra and the NJMEA All-State Orchestra. He has also won multiple awards at the MAMTG Music Festival. Alongside learning the cello, Keshav has continued to develop his musical abilities by studying composition and orchestral conducting—skills that have given him an even deeper appreciation for classical music.

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Hannah Lin

Violin
Director of Outreach

Hannah Lin is a senior at East Brunswick High School. She has played the violin for over a decade and is currently studying the violin with Dr. Sharon Cho. Hannah has participated in Central Jersey and New Jersey regional intermediate orchestras for consecutive years and has received an All-State Intermediate Orchestra recognition award from the East Brunswick Board of Education. Auditioning around the country, she also wins in several national and international music competitions, many of which are accompanied by performances at renowned venues, such as Carnegie Hall and the Merkin Concert Hall. At the 2021 New Jersey State Solo and Ensemble Festival, Hannah was judged by a world-class panel of adjudicators and won gold class as both a violin soloist and violinist in a duet. Apart from the violin, Hannah likes to volunteer and bake bread and desserts.

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Nishka Rao

Vocal
Vocals Director

Nishka Rao is a senior at East Brunswick High School. She has been singing for twelve years and has won various competitions such as the New York Lyric Opera, NATS, MAMTG, Laurita Idol and the American Protégé We Sing Pop International Competition. She has also performed at Symphony Space Hall and Columbian University. On the side, she enjoys watching musicals, arranging harmonies, writing and swimming. She is very excited to be on the executive board for the next school year!

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Prashasth Turaga

Vocal
Secretary

Prashasth Turaga has been singing since the age of 4, exploring both Indian classical and Western music, including pop and choral music. He is a member of the 2023 NAFME All-Eastern Region mixed choir. He has also been playing piano for nine years, performing at the Carnegie Hall Winners Recital in 2019.

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Shayan Chaudhury

Vocal
Director of Outreach

Shayan Chaudhury will be MBM's 2023-24 Director of Outreach. Shayan is a vocalist who has participated in CJMEA choirs and also plays the guitar. He loves music and writing and is excited to be a part of the MBM exec board!

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Emily Asuncion

Vocal
Social Media Manager

Emily Asuncion is a senior at EBHS and is excited to be managing MBM's social media this year. She has been performing with MBM as a vocalist and was a part of chorus for 7 years. Other than singing, she enjoys photography, sketching, exploring new music, and learning new languages as well.

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Jessica Hong

Cello
Orchestral Music Director

Jessica Hong is a junior attending East Brunswick High School. She has played the cello for nine years and has won awards from various music competitions, such as MTNA Student Competition, NJMTA Young Musicians Competition, NYYPP Competition, and Bravura Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition. Besides music, Jessica enjoys taking care of her pet turtles, drawing, biking, and spending time with her friends and family.

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Isabella Francisco

Double Bass
Website Director

Isabella Francisco is a junior in high school. She's been playing the double bass for 6 years and plans to continue throughout high school. So far, she has participated in the CJMEA High School Orchestra and NJMEA Orchestra and Wind Ensemble in her freshman year. Other than playing, she likes to make visual art and bake. She's excited to see what she can do with the MBM website the next school year!

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Shlok Pathak

Vocal

Shlok Pathak is a senior at East Brunswick High School and vocalist in MBM. He is vice president of EBHS Drama Club as well as president of EBHS Men's Choir. He loves to sing and play piano and is so excited to be a part of MBM this season!

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Justin Ham

Viola

Justin Ham is a senior at East Brunswick high school. He has been playing the viola for the last 7 years, starting in 4th grade. He currently plays for the Veritas Youth Symphony Orchestra and has been for the last 3 years. Justin also participated in the CJMEA Regionals Orchestra and currently works under William Law. Besides the viola, he has also played the piano as he traveled to Carnegie Hall and won the Gold award for the Golden Key Music Festival from 2015-2018. In his free time, Justin enjoys various activities such as golf.

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Emmy Winston

Vocal

Emmy Winston is a senior in East Brunswick and has been singing her whole life. She has taken formal voice lessons for 2 year and has been performing in musicals for 9 years. In addition, she has been studying drums for 9 years and completed several online courses through Berklee College of Music. Emmy is involved in her school’s bella voce honors choir and participates in clubs such as drama club, acabellas, and more. She also writes, produces, and mixes her own music.

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Alex Kuchuk

Violin
President

Alex Kuchuk is a sophomore violinist attending East Brunswick Public High School. He has been in Mockingbird Melody since his freshman year and has been delighted to participate in each bimonthly concert since then. Alex has been playing the violin for 6 years and has participated in the Central Jersey region's orchestra since the 8th grade. He also joined the Bravura Youth Orchestra this year, and this summer he and his fellow orchestra members will be attending and playing in concert halls in Vienna, Salzburg, and Prague. As well as having a passion for music and the violin, Alex enjoys playing volleyball, hanging out with friends, and doing random history and geography quizzes.

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Ethan Lee

Cello

Ethan Lee is a senior and will be Mockingbird Melody's treasurer for the 2022-2023 school year. He plays the cello and has been playing under the guidance of Dr. Hyojin Lee for 8 years. Ethan also likes to listen to music, play Valorant and volleyball, and rock climb.

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Emma Wilson

Violin

Emma Wilson is an 12th grade violinist attending East Brunswick High School. Her love for music began at a very young age, as she sang in the Rutgers Children’s Choir from ages 4-14. Her real passion was found in orchestra, however, as she began violin in fourth grade. In addition to the high school chamber orchestra, she plays in a quartet and teaches violin and viola to many young aspiring musicians.

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Matthew Ho

Cello
Outreach Director

Matthew Ho is a sophomore at East Brunswick High School. He started playing the cello in 4th grade with his school orchestra and currently studies at the Juilliard Pre-College. He has been awarded top prizes in many competitions, such as the VIVO International Music Competition and the NLPA International Young Artists Competition. Matthew has performed at Carnegie Hall and is the winner of the MTNA state competition in the junior strings division. In his free time, Matthew enjoys playing video games, biking, and cooking.

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Jonathan Yu

Piano

Jonathan Yu is currently a senior at East Brunswick High School and has been playing the piano for 8 years. He won a gold prize in the International Music and Arts Society competition, performing at Carnegie Hall. Jonathan loves delving into various genres of music, from Pop and Rock to Classical and Harlem Renaissance Jazz. He has experimented with many instruments—though without much success—such as the violin, guitar, flute, and African conga drums. In his free time, he enjoys singing karaoke, biking, playing table tennis, watching dramas and Hong Kong movies, and hanging out with friends. He loves learning about philosophy, psychology, sociology, and biology, and also has an interest in linguistics and language learning. He hopes that his experiences in MBM can broaden his musical scope and build meaningful connections with his friends and others in his community.

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Savani Abeynayaka

Piano

Savani Abeynayaka is a senior at EBHS and has been playing piano since she was 5 years old. Throughout the years, she has participated and completed several levels of the ABRSM examinations. Aside from playing music, she enjoys baking sweets, going shopping, and writing in her free time. She’s very excited to begin her experience with Mockingbird Melody for the upcoming school year.

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Rishma Rao

Vocal
Vocal Music Director

Rishma Rao is a ninth grader at Churchill Junior High School. She has been singing since she was seven and has performed in several competitions such as MAMTG and at Columbia University. In addition to her passion for singing, she enjoys reading, playing piano, dancing, and swimming. She is very excited to perform as a vocalist for Mockingbird Melody.

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Olivia Lee

Vocal

Olivia Lee is a freshman at Churchill Junior High School and has been singing since she could remember. She is currently in the Honors Chamber Choir at CJHS and will be a part of the EBHS honors Bella Voce choir for her sophomore year. She also has been playing the cello since fourth grade and has been in numerous theatre productions since seventh grade. Olivia has caught the attention of talent directors, earning her a spot in the next round of acting auditions for The Industry Network. Apart from performing, Olivia holds a black belt in martial arts and loves reading. She is extremely excited to be involved in Mockingbird Melody.

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Arav Choudhary

Double Bass
Vice President

Arav Choudhary is a sophomore attending EBHS. He has been playing the Double Bass since 4th grade, making it his seventh year being a part of orchestra. He has consistently been a part of the regional and All State orchestras and studies under Christopher Finnegan. He enjoys trips to Wawa, Star Wars, and walking his dog.

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Darren Lee

Cello

Secretary

Darren Lee is currently a sophomore attending East Brunswick High School. He has been playing the cello for the past 6 years, starting with his school orchestra in 4th grade. He has participated in NJMEA All-State and CJMEA Regional Orchestra for several years and has won awards in several competitions, such as the International Young Artists Competition (NLPA), American Protege Competition, Golden Key International Competition, and the NJMTA Young Musicians Competition. Aside from music, Darren enjoys biking, volunteering, and hanging out with his friends.

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Matthew Ham

Viola
Treasurer

Matthew Ham is a freshman at Churchill Junior High School. He has been playing the viola for the last 5 years, starting in 4th grade under Mr. William Law. For the last 2 years, he has been playing for the Veritas Youth Symphony Orchestra Matthew has also participated in the intermediate CJMEA regionals and NJMEA states orchestra. Other than the viola, he has played piano and currently plays drums. Besides playing music, he enjoys video games and sports like soccer.

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Sab Prakash

Violin
Social Media Director

Sab Prakash is currently attending CJHS as a freshman. He's played violin for five years, working with his first private teacher, William Law, since the end of his fourth year. He participated in the CJMEA Regional Orchestra. He hopes to go to a conservatory and major in violin performance and become a professional violinist after. Other than playing the violin, Sab loves to sing both pop and Indian classical music, learn new languages, and chat with his friends.

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Jason Liu

Cello
Orchestral Music Director

Jason Liu is a dedicated cellist attending East Brunswick High School. He has performed with the NJASO and CJMEA Orchestras, as well as the award-winning Bravura Philharmonic and daughter Youth Orchestra. Jason has earned the NJMTA Recital High Honors Award multiple times and has had the honor of performing at Carnegie Hall. Committed to contributing to the community, Jason is actively involved with MBM. In addition to his musical pursuits, Jason enjoys listening to music, playing games, and working out.

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Audrey Cheng

Violin

Audrey Cheng is currently a sophomore at East Brunswick High School. She’s been playing violin for 6 years. In her free time she enjoys listening to music, playing guitar, photography, traveling, and baking!

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Daniella Kim

Flute

Daniella Kim is a sophomore at East Brunswick High School and has played the flute for six years. Daniella has played in the Honors Wind Ensemble and Varsity Marching Band. Outside of music, she likes to read and draw.

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