Palm Beach Symphony Recognizes Outstanding Local Music Students

Wellington resident Ellen Dahlstrom with her new Howarth XL-VT Grenadilla wood professional oboe. Photo courtesy IndieHouse Films

The Palm Beach Symphony recently recognized Santaluces High School senior Dion Sellitti, a resident of Boynton Beach, with the 2021-22 Lisa B-Major Award. Wellington resident Ellen Dahlstrom was honored as runner up.

Sellitti will receive a Selmer Paris Series II Jubilee model baritone saxophone as part of the program that awards an advanced-level instrument that can be used for college auditions and to launch a lifetime in music.

Sellitti has represented Palm Beach County in the FBA All-County Bands, All-County Jazz Bands and All-State Symphonic Bands. He has passed preliminary auditions at the University of Miami where he may one day study with Palm Beach Symphony Music Director Gerard Schwarz. Sellitti said his goals are to earn a master’s degree in performance and potentially join one of the Armed Forces Bands.

The announcement of the winner was made in the Venetian Ballroom at the iconic Breakers Palm Beach during the sold-out Palm Beach Symphony 20th Annual Gala. Sellitti delighted the gala guests by performing Bach’s Cello Suite #1 Gigue.

Dahlstrom, a student at the Dreyfoos School of the Arts, has received solo and ensemble Superior awards. Like her father Todd, who is a symphony board member, she is committed to others and started Young Musicians of the Palm Beaches to give student musicians in Palm Beach County paid performance opportunities in the community.

Dahlstrom has held several positions in the high school’s band department, including librarian, vice president and president. She received a Howarth XL-VT Grenadilla wood professional oboe as her prize, which she can use as she pursues her plans in classical music and attend one of the nation’s renowned conservatories.

The honorees were determined by audition, with finalists participating in an interview and playing two contrasting musical works before of a panel of judges. Both students worked closely with the Palm Beach Symphony to identify, test and select their ideal instrument.

Sellitti and Dahlstrom will take part in a free outdoor concert at Meyer Amphitheater on Saturday, May 21 with symphony musicians and students from the Dreyfoos School of the Arts.

Nominations will re-open in the fall for next year’s awards. Eligible students must be current high school seniors in the fall and in good academic standing who are planning to enter a music degree program at a university or institution of higher learning. Nominations are accepted from music teachers and private instructors and are judged upon the nominee’s accomplishments and activities, future musical plans and financial need.

The Palm Beach Symphony is South Florida’s premier orchestra known for its diverse repertoire and commitment to community.

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