Two of Harborfields High School’s “brightest and finest seniors,” Olivia Freiberger and Ty Ellenbogen, were recently recognized for their high achievements through the Long Island Arts Alliance Scholar-Artist program.
Beginning in 2007—as a collaboration between Long Island arts administrators, the Long Island Arts Alliance, Newsday and the New York Community Bank Foundation—the Scholar-Artist program is designed to recognize students deemed to be “the best of the best,” according to Harborfields Music Department Coordinator Daniel Bilawsky. “Both Freiberger and Ellenbogen most definitely fit the bill,” he said.
Olivia, a celebrated vocalist and actress who received a Scholar-Artist Award for theater, took the news with pride and humility, while noting the importance of arts in schools.
“I think the arts are invaluable in a well-rounded education,” she said. “They allow students to stimulate their mind in a way no other subjects can.”
Citing how her theater experience has helped improve her confidence and hone communication skills, she emphasized the emotional nourishment and fostering of community that are both unique in these realms.
Olivia has danced professionally in the Town of Oyster Bay Holiday Concert, is a member of the high school’s theater group and, for four years, has helped choreograph the school’s kick line performances. Additionally, she has participated in the Rockettes Summer Intensive program at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, was selected for BAE Systems’ Women in Technology internship program and majored in drama at Pace University’s PreCollege Summer Immersion Program last year.
Olivia has also spent hours volunteering her time at the Children’s Theater – John W. Engeman Theater in Northport, where she recently played Elsa in ”Frozen.” After graduation, Olivia plans to continue her passion for dance and intends to pursue a degree in musical theater.
Senior Ty Ellenbogen, an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and songwriter, was equally as excited about earning the LI Scholar-Artist Award.
“Through music I’ve learned about hard work and discipline,” he said. “I got to where I am today as a musician through many years of practice, and the lessons I’ve learned along the way have translated universally to other areas of my life.”
Throughout high school, Ty has been a member of the National Honor Society and several performance groups, including wind ensemble, jazz and marching bands. He has also been selected for All-County Band every year since 2015. This year, he has also taken up the mantle as president of the Tri-M Music Honor Society.
Additionally, as part of his Eagle Scouts project, Ty worked with the Harry Chapin Foundation and American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, or ASCAP, to donate guitars and create a benefit concert to serve underprivileged children.
After graduation, Ty hopes to pursue music business at his top choice, Belmont University in Nashville, TN.
“Their incredible achievements speak volumes about their talent, discipline and dedication to their crafts, while also highlighting their academic strengths and abilities to balance a schedule filled with many and varied commitments,” Mr. Bilawsky said. “We congratulate them, their families, teachers and support networks within and beyond our schools.”