Losing Our Voice


Mr. Jonathan Meszaros, the JP Choral Director for the past seven years, has spent much of his life as a Hawk. Under his instruction, the JP Choir has earned over fifty regional and national awards since 2008. Unfortunately Mr. Meszaros will be leaving JP and moving to Virginia this year. His absence will affect our school greatly, as the music department will have lost one of its most distinguished members. In the few weeks before his departure, Mr. Meszaros shared some of his experiences and insights with The Hawkeye.

“I made the decision to study music in college after a fantastic experience I had during one summer in high school,” remarked Mr. Meszaros, when asked about his inspiration to pursue choir. “I attended The Governor’s School of the Arts, which was held at The College of New Jersey for one month during the summer between my junior and senior year of high school. Unfortunately, this program is no longer around due to budget cuts, but it led me to choose my career path. I had an amazing time making some beautiful music with some of the best people I have ever known ­ several of whom are my best friends still to this day.”

This love for music, which led him to pursue choir professionally, also allowed him the opportunity to teach. “I hope that my students have learned much from me, so I can’t pick out one idea that I feel is the most important,” he continued, discussing the concepts taught in the classroom and on stage. “I do hope that each student has taken at least one ‘big’ idea or lesson away from me, but that may be different from one student to the next.”

While Mr. Meszaros’ lessons have proved invaluable to his students, he has learned a thing or two from them as well. “The students here at JP have taught me that even the simplest thing can make the biggest difference to someone else, and that in turn can inspire something even greater. I have enjoyed too many aspects of life in JP to list or pick out one as the most enjoyable,” he elaborated, “but I’d say that every day I wake up and love coming to JP and working with everyone here. It’s the people that I will miss the most, and the spirit that embodies this community as a result of every person here.”

His most memorable experiences at JP were characterized by musical harmony and unity. “I have had a number of transformative experiences here through the years, but each year there always seems to come a time when I’m working with the choir students, and in that moment, whether it happens during class, rehearsal, or a performance, we feel as one.”

Mr. Meszaros’ parting words of advice to us, no doubt borne from his experiences as a student and teacher, were as follows: “With anything, whether in JP, college, or out in the real world, you will get back what you give, so give all you have and you will never regret it.”

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