BFA’s Talent: Penelope Noza (’24) and Emanuele Chiappinelli (’22)


Emanuele Chiappinelli and Penelope Noza Photo credit: Asher Ballantine

Zoe Walent, Writer

Penelope Noza (’24) and Emanuele Chiappinelli (’22) both auditioned for the All New England Music Festival, which took place from March 17-19 of this year. The festival was first established in 1927 and has been annual since then. It has only had two breaks: World War II and, most recently, the pandemic.

Eric Bushey, Bellows Free Academy’s band teacher, referred to Noza and Chiappinelli as talented, hardworking and dedicated. “I’m especially proud of them because they kept the drive to do these auditions through this really hard period we went through,” Bushey said.

According to Noza and Chiappinelli, before the auditions, which were last December, they each worked diligently to become as familiar as possible with the pieces. For Chiappinelli, the audition went really well. He scored second highest for the horn in the whole festival. Noza’s audition went very well too, and they both received some great constructive criticism from the adjudicators. 

According to Bushey, Pilot DesLauriers (’22) also auditioned for the chorus portion of the festival and received an invitation to come back, but he chose to participate in his last One-Act play with BFA’s theater instead. 

Noza and Chiappinelli spend a lot of time with their respective instruments and have their own reasons for sticking with them for so long.

Chiappinelli said he has been playing the French horn since the 5th grade and loves the diversity of his instrument. It can play as high as some trumpets and as low as some tubas. “My favorite part about the French horn is that not many people play it. It is a really challenging instrument but also has a beautiful sound,” Chiappinelli said.

Noza said she has been playing the clarinet since the 6th grade and loves that the sound and technique on the instrument can only be as good by how much time and effort you put into it. She added that she also likes how you can always learn more about it, from fingerings to techniques. “I also really love that it’s a versatile instrument. You can see clarinets in concert bands and wind quartets, to orchestras and jazz bands,” Noza said.

Chiappinelli spoke about how music is a universal language.  “We all use the same series of notes, and all hear harmonies and melodies the same. Study music enough, and you will know what it should sound like just by looking at the page,” Chiappinelli said.

At the festival, Chiappinelli said that the orchestra he was in began the concert with “Prayer of Ukraine,” a tribute to Ukraine and is akin to what “America the Beautiful” is to us. After that, the band played the first movement of Florence Price’s “Symphony No. 1 in E minor.” After that, they played Steven Bryant’s “The Machine Awakes.” Finally, they ended the concert with “Light Cavalry Overture” by Franz Von Suppe. 

Noza said she played “Magnolia Star,” “Angels in the Architecture,” and “Radetzky March”. 

Chiappinelli and Noza said they have played in local district festivals, but neither of them have ever participated in the All New England Music Festival until this year. They both agreed that this festival, and the caliber of people that it came with, was unlike any other group either of them have ever played with.

Auditioning for a prestigious festival such as this one takes a lot of guts, and Chiappinelli and Noza have advice for anyone who wants to do it in the future. 

“Go for it—there’s nothing to lose, just as long as you’re willing to put the time and effort into your audition piece,” Noza said.

“Practicing audition pieces is key. You have to be comfortable and confident with what you are playing. Specifically, adjudicators look for real attention on the small details. Staccatos, diminuendos, crescendos, dynamics, as well as general tone and interpretation. You just need to be really comfortable with your audition piece to do well,” Chiappinelli said.