Senior wins Governor’s Award for Exceptional Promise in Music


Grace Heiser

Senior Victoria Csatay won the Governor’s Exceptional Promise in Music Award. Csatay performed at the award ceremony last Spring.

Sophie Kolax, Staff Editor

Earlier this year, jazz singer and Pascack Valley Senior Victoria Csatay won the Governor’s Award for Exceptional Promise and Music Award. The award recognizes those involved in the arts for their creativity and talent.

“I have been [Victoria’s] teacher at [NJPAC] since she was 13,” said Jackie Jones, Victoria’s teacher at NJPAC. “She has grown and improved as a singer and she is a very hardworking young woman with great talent.”

Csatay has been singing with the New Jersey Performing Arts Center for four years as a part of the Jazz for Teens program. Csatay has been working with Jones to improve her jazz singing.

“I didn’t even know I was nominated for the award,” Csatay said. “I [just] got a call that said that I won an award. It was an incredible surprise to find out that not only was I nominated for this award, but had won it as well.”

Csatay was nominated by NJPAC, which sent in a video of her singing to nominate her for this award, and on May 22nd her video performance was streamed during the award ceremony.

“I was glad she got the award,” Jones said. “I was one of the people that helped nominate her, so I [was excited] to see that they did accept her because she deserves it.”

At the virtual ceremony, Csatay was presented with a certificate from Governor Murphy as well as a medal that she will wear at graduation. The ceremony was held over Zoom and Csatay’s performance was shown.

Recently, Csatay has been acting on an unreleased television show that is in the process of being sold to streaming services. She is also discussing other performances and entertainment opportunities in her future.

“The experience [on the] set of the television show was so cool,” Csatay said. “I had to stay in a remote barn at the top of a mountain and had no service but it was an unforgettable experience. Everyone was so nice and the entire cast felt like a family.”

Csatay has been singing and performing for most of her life. Her family has always been very supportive of her music career and has strong ties to the jazz community, as her grandfather, Eddie Bert, was a Grammy-winning trombonist and bebop musician.

“My grandfather was a very famous jazz musician, so it has always been in my family,” Csatay said. “I started performing, acting, and singing [professionally] when I was about nine, but I have always been singing.”

Although Csatay said that she doesn’t have plans to pursue music or performance in her academic life at PV or as a major in college, she is always working on other performance-based projects and continuing to attend voice lessons, and working with the teen program at NJPAC.

Csatay said that she is constantly trying to improve in her performing arts career. She has been writing her own music and has been continuing with her classes at NJPAC. 

“She is a [remarkable] person [with] a great heart, a great personality, [and] great talent,” Jones said.