Allegra Jaros, President of Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo was joined by WKBW-TV Anchor, Ashley Rowe, for the Children’s Lullaby Contest Live Finale event held at City Honors School on Thursday, November 2.
The fourteen finalists selected performed their rendition of Brahms’ Lullaby in front of a judging panel and live audience for a chance to win $1,500 in cash and the opportunity to professionally re-record their version of the melody that will be played throughout Oishei Children’s Hospital every time a baby is born.
More than 75 Western New Yorkers submitted their rendition of the classic lullaby during the two-month contest period which lasted from August 15 to October 15.
The deliberating judging panel consisted of local and professional musicians and Women & Children’s Hospital staff. It included Janice Mitchell, Buffalo Music Hall of Fame inductee and longtime backup singer for Ray Charles, George Scott, President of The Colored Musicians Club of Buffalo and Rose Dudley, longtime Labor & Delivery nurse at Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo.
The judges scored each of the 14 finalists based on criteria including sheer talent, the song’s resemblance to the original Brahms’ Lullaby tune and its ability to inspire calmness and peace throughout the hospital
Finalists ranged in age from 11 to 64 and performed on instruments including piano, violin, guitar, ukelele and hand bells.
Prior to announcing the winners, Allegra Jaros presented City Honors School music students with a check in the amount of $500 to defray the cost of new instruments and sound and tuning equipment.
After much deliberation, the winners were announced:
Ian Guercio, 14-year-old student from Amherst Central High School performed his rendition on the piano. He was awarded a $200 gift certificate to the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra
Julia Arlotta, who performed on the piano, is a music teacher at Starpoint Central Schools who was presented with an $800 gift certificate to Shea’s Performing Arts Center
Grand Prize Winner
Krista Jane Seddon, a 64-year-old classical pianist and composer, was awarded $1,500 and will re-record her tune that will play throughout the halls of Oishei Children's Hospital when it opens on Friday, November 10.