• This Is Rutherford

RHS Senior Katie Corcoran Receives National Recognition

Submitted by Rutherford Public Schools


Rutherford High School senior Katie Corcoran gained national attention for her original musical composition that will join both a traveling and an online exhibit. Katie won a Merit Award in the National PTA’s annual Reflections art program, with her 3:15-minute piece titled “Mindfulness.”


Each year, students in pre-K through grade 12 are invited to create and submit original works of art in the areas of Dance Choreography, Film Production, Literature, Music Composition, Photography, and Visual Arts. Four other Rutherford High School students won state-level honors this year, in addition to Katie’s national win. The program’s theme this year is “Look Within.”


“This piece is meant to spread the message that when we look within ourselves, we should be mindful of our mental health,” Katie said.


Her work sprung from an assignment in her AP Music Theory course, for which teacher Mr. Faugno assigned a project of making music. Two other students in that course submitted pieces that won at the county, then state level: Sarah Dzurillay won the Award of Excellence in Music Composition for her piece “Look Within,” and Daniel Gregory won the Honorable Mention in Music Composition for his piece “Invasion.”


In other state-level competition, the high school’s Katie Whaley won the Award of Excellence in Literature for her piece titled “Living in Me,” and Julia Lorenz won the Award of Merit in Literature for “Isolation.”


As a national winner, Katie’s work will join that of 200 other students from around the country for a traveling exhibit planned for the fall. In addition, the PTA will compile an online collection of all the submissions.


Mr. Faugno first taught Katie when she was a fifth-grader who already played piano and was starting to learn to play the clarinet. In the AP Music Theory course, her composition talents started to shine.


“Some of her early projects really surprised the class, and Katie, with how well they were composed,” Mr. Faugno said. “She always has a positive attitude when she comes in the band room, and always has awesome music theater or video game music to show me. It has been an awesome experience getting to see her grow as a human being and musician.”


To hear Katie's musical composition, click here.

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