Local Student Hall of Fame Essay Contest Winners Selected

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by Robert Kimmel – 

A musician and a merchant are the subjects of the two winning essays in the Hall of Fame Essay contest in which Sleepy Hollow High School students compete. The annual contest is part of the curriculum for students at the 10th grade level.

Students are initially given a list by the Historical Society, Inc. Serving Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown of local figures who achieved fame in one manner or another and lived in the local area. The 10th graders select whom they will write about from that list. The Tarrytown School District, The Historical Society and the Warner Library partner to maintain the contest.

Each year’s framed winning essays are posted in the Warner Library where they remain for all to read.  The winning works, from students residing in each of the two villages, are selected by a group of anonymous judges. Students are required to do their research at the Library and the Historical Society.

Maya Weitzen, of Sleepy Hollow, chose Rafael Joseffy, a master pianist, classical musician and music teacher, as the subject of her winning essay. In 1879, Joseffy immigrated to the United States from Europe, where he had already achieved fame as a brilliant pianist. He was soon appearing with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and later played with orchestras across the country before he began teaching and composing. Tarrytown became his summer retreat.

Tarrytown student Arya Glenn wrote about John Anderson for her winning essay. Anderson was a wealthy tobacco manufacturer and merchant who owned a well-known shop on Broadway in New York City during the 1800’s. He was entangled in an investigation of the murder of one of his young women employees. Anderson had a Tarrytown residence and contributed to the renovation of the Captor’s monument in Patriot’s Park when its statue was placed upon it.

Both Weitzen and Glenn are scheduled to receive awards from the mayors of Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow this week at Warner Library.

Look for the award-winning essays in July’s The Hudson Independent issue and online at www.thehudsonindependent.com.

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