Upper School Choir Students Recognized

Twenty Upper School Choir students were recognized for their outstanding work during the 2022-2023 school year:

The Grade 9 Vocal Music Achievement Award is presented to two students who have demonstrated personal initiative and dedication, an excellent work ethic, along with a willingness to give of themselves in order to better the vocal music program. While demonstrating these criteria, these students have been positive role models and remain resolute in their musical goals.

The 2023 recipients are Shil Penilla ’26 and Lea Shamsham ’26.

The Fred Waring Director’s Award for Chorus is presented to two sophomores who show great promise in the choral program through musicianship and leadership, through cooperation and enthusiasm, as well as in their own music growth over the course of the year. This award recognizes emerging young musical leaders who demonstrate a positive attitude and bring a spirit of cohesion to their respective choirs.

The 2023 recipients are Grant LaMartina ’25 and Amisha Poojari ’25.

The Quincy Jones Eleventh Grade Musicianship Award is presented to two members of the junior class each spring. In his long musical career, Quincy Jones did it all as a composer, arranger, performer, producer, and teacher. The Quincy Jones Award is presented to a student who shares his boundless energy and musical versatility, as well as his humble spirit.

The 2023 Recipients are Ben Iken ’24 and Wyatt Dickherber ’24.

The Leadership Award in Vocal Music is given at the discretion of the Upper School Choir Director and recognizes a student who has shown remarkable leadership in the vocal music program.  It recognizes a student who is a highly respected student musician, demonstrating the highest level of perseverance, enthusiasm, and excellence in all they do, and has gone above and beyond in their service to the vocal music program.

The 2023 recipient Noah Macam ’23.

Noah is being recognized for his vision, design, and execution of incredible choreography for the annual Spring Pops Concert, helping to take this yearly program to new heights.



The Instrumentalist Magazine Musicianship Certificate is presented at the discretion of the director to students in grades 9-11 for their outstanding musicianship throughout the course of the school year.

The 2023 recipients are:

  • Cora Bryan ’24
  • Mac Froege ’25
  • Charlie Glass ’25
  • Intisar Iqbal ’24
  • Morgan Macam ’26
  • Brian Paine ’24
  • Connor Paine ’24
  • Davis Schukar ’24
  • Rebecca Sennaraj ’24
  • Akira Washington ’26
  • Ethan Waymire ’25

The Leonard Bernstein Musicianship Award honors a student whose musical contributions, dedication, and musical creativity set them apart as deserving of the highest recognition for their achievements.

Rowan Stansberry ’23

The 2023 recipient is Rowen Stansberry ’23, for their original composition Harbinger’s Waltz, submitted as their AP® Music Theory Composition Project in May 2022.




The National School Choral Award is the highest honor that a senior student in the vocal music program can receive. This nationally recognized award is presented annually to a graduating senior who has given four years of exemplary service to the MICDS choral program.

The certificate reads: “In recognition of superior merit, ability, and achievement of outstanding contributions to the school choral program, and of an unusual degree of loyalty, cooperation, and high quality of conduct by the general consent of the music faculty, school officials, and others.”

Alizeh Jawaid ’23

The 2023 recipient of the National Choral Award is Alizeh Jawaid ’23.

Dana Self, Upper School Choir Director, said, “I asked Alizeh’s musical peers to create a list of words that immediately come to mind when thinking of this student. The list included: incredibly kind, outgoing, welcoming, humble, a team player, dedicated, encouraging, courageous, inspirational.”

One of Jawaid’s peers said, “To know her is to love her. She’s the singer I want to be when I grow up.”

Another said, “She is one of the humblest people I know. She has a gorgeous voice and tremendous talent, yet she doesn’t draw the spotlight to herself. She understands the concept of teamwork in music. She is someone who is going to go places and do great things, and I will be so proud to say, ‘I knew her!’”

Jawaid has been a member of the Upper School Bella Voce Women’s Choir and Chamber Choir, earned Exemplary ratings at the MSHSAA District and State Music Festivals, been a long-time member of the St. Louis Children’s Choir, performed at Blue Whale Café, completed the challenging AP® Music Theory course, been a member of the MICDS Arts Council, selected to the St. Louis Metro District Choir all four years of her high school career, and was selected to perform with the Missouri All-State Choir in 2022 and 2023. Most recently, she performed at the St. Louis Area Law Enforcement Medal of Valor Ceremony and was a featured soloist at the annual Spring Pops Concert. In addition, she has her own Spotify Channel, which features her own original compositions.

Congratulations to all the award recipients!