BY LAURA BETH JOHNSON
ISSUE NO. 31 | SEPTEMBER 2021
As the school year starts up again, we want to celebrate and congratulate two very special students who are beginning college this Fall.
THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF MODERN DAY MUSIC SCHOOL
Elvita Fiorini and Cassie Cenzano are attending Berklee School of Music and Belmont University respectively as members of the Class of 2025! Seeing our students gain acceptance into prestigious music schools is such an honor for our community.
Elvita has had her sights set on Berklee for a long time. “It’s been my dream to be a musician since I can remember,” said Elvita. “I’ve been preparing for this for a very long time.”
Elvita started taking lessons at MDM when she was just 10 years old. In her time here, she has taken lessons for Voice, Guitar, Piano, Studio and was in the Band, A Capella, Songwriting, and Musical Theater Programs.
“My coaches at MDM are what have made all the difference these past eight years,” she said, “They knew I had this goal and did everything in their power to help prepare me.”
Elvita auditioned for Berklee in November of 2020 on Zoom from her normal lesson room at MDM. She entered a break out room where other young musicians sat nervous with their mics muted, waiting for their turn to audition. “I felt pretty intimidated,” admitted Elvita, “Even though Laura, Chelsea, and I worked on audition prep for a literal year.”
Elvita auditioned to become a Vocal Performance major with “Zombies” by The Cranberries. She had it down perfectly; everything from the piano arrangement to the register changes in the vocal line. Every measure was polished and memorized.
“It was finally my turn and I started playing. I felt nervous until I started singing and then it was just calm. I had done it a hundred times in lessons and it felt really good to do it for real,” shared Elvita. In the interview portion, the moderator asked where Elvita was zooming in from and she mentioned Modern Day Music. He remembered our school from last year when we had three 2020 Shen graduates attend Berklee!
shining seniors: elvita & cassie
Two months later, Elvita got her official letter of acceptance. “I just stared at it. I didn’t think it was real, ” she said.
Elvita worked on sight reading in her lessons in addition to piano skills and music theory. She also had her coaches Laura and Tony write references for her. She mentioned, “I’ve been working with Tony since I was 14 and he's taught me so much. My second band session with Tony I had JUST started playing guitar and Tony was like “yeah you're gonna play guitar with this band” and I was like ‘WUT’. That experience taught me to not wait until you're the best at something- you just have to go for it and you will get better faster that way.”
In the future, Elvita says she can see herself having a studio that's on a farm. She said, “I have a whole vision. I loved working in the studio here. Like, I’d love to have younger kids at the farm for a wholesome experience! Come record music and then we can pick vegetables from the garden and have some good food!”
Cassie Cenzano was accepted into Belmont University where she will be studying Commercial Music starting this month. “Ever since I visited Nashville and Belmont’s campus for the first time I just knew that’s where I belonged, ” she shared. “The music program is absolutely incredible and I felt like The Commercial Music major was exactly what I was looking for in terms of performance and learning about the industry. Plus, the college is right in music city which put the cherry on top.”
In May, Cassie released a seven song EP titled ‘Living’ that she wrote with her MDM coach, Katie Johnson, and worked on with owner, Paul Benedetti, and recorded with MDM engineers, James Johnson and Ben Zoleski in our Studio. Cassie said, “working with Katie was great. It was really fun to use both of our ideas and styles and see how those came to life. This was my first experience actually writing music with someone and it has definitely helped me for when I work with other artists now.”
She continued, “Paul was awesome to work with because he is a very professional and supportive person and producer. He wants to make sure everything is perfect and I’m very grateful that he truly cared about the result. He brought more ideas and creativity to the table and it showed me how cool the process is to work with a producer. The studio space is really comfortable and fun!”
Cassie concluded, “I give credit to MDM for the growth of my voice and knowledge of the industry. From lessons to the band program, from recording in the studio to producing my first album, I feel confident on future projects and now fully know the process of working as a musician. It takes years of dedication and hard work in many areas of your life. MDM has really helped me prepare for the next chapter of my life in Nashville as an artist and music major.”
You can listen to Cassie’s EP “Living” online wherever you stream music, or by visiting cassiecenzano.com.
From audition prep to reference letters, songwriting, and studio sessions with the pros- our coaches and programs are up to the task of preparing your student to attend their dream music school and take the next step in their music career!
Congratulations, Elvita and Cassie!
Best of luck to you both at Berklee and Belmont!
3 - Under the Den (Ben) 151 Bar & Restaurant, 7-10:00pm
4 - MDM CLOSED FOR LABOR DAY WEEKEND
6 - LABOR DAY, MDM CLOSED
9 - Open Mic Night, Rustic Bar Pub, 6pm
10 - SUBMISSION DEADLINE FOR VIRTUAL SHOWCASE
13 - Open Mic Night, Caffe Lena, 6:30-9:30pm
20 - Open Mic Night, Caffe Lena, 6:30-9:30pm
24 - Ben Zoleski Solo, The Cellar, 6-9pm
26 - VIRTUAL SHOWCASE PREMIERE ON FACEBOOK LIVE, 1pm - Ages 6-12, 3pm - Ages 12-17, 5pm - 18 & up
Don't forget about our September 10th submissiond deadline for the Virtual Showcase. We will NOT be accepting late submissions!
Also check out the MDM Facebook page on Sunday 8/26 for the premiere of our showcase! It will also be up permanently to view after the premiere.
A ROUND OF APPLAUSE FOR OUR NEW STUDENTS in AUGUST!
FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA!