Tag Archives: Nick DiBerardino

TEA Talk Time

You’ve heard of TED Talks. The 18-minute, internet-addictive presentations cover a broad range of topics. Originally, TED stood for Technology, Entertainment and Design.

Get ready for Westport’s version: TEA Talk. This Sunday (October 26, 2 p.m., Town Hall auditorium) the Westport Arts Advisory Committee is sponsoring 3 20-minute conversations. Because this is Westport, the focus is on Thinkers, Educators and Artists.

Gina Rattan

Gina Rattan

And because this is Westport, the TEA Talk features a combination of rising young talent, and well-established thinkers, educators and artists.

Gina Rattan — a Staples grad who’s working now on the live broadcast of NBC’s “Peter Pan,” and is the resident director of the Broadway musical “Matilda The Musical” — will discuss the impact of technology on Broadway with Carole Schweid.

She directs the “Play With Your Food” series, and was an original Broadway cast member of “A Chorus Line.” This segment will include video clips of some wizardry behind Broadway shows.

Nick DeBerardino — another Staples grad and Rhodes Scholar pursuing a master’s in music at Yale, and the co-founder of Princeton’s Undergraduate Composers Collective — will explore the integration of recent technology into music composition and performance.

Nick DeBerardino

Nick DeBerardino

He’ll chat with Richard Epstein, professional bassoonist and host for 38 years of WPKN’s “Sometimes Classical.”

The program kicks off with Bill Derry — head of innovation at the Westport Library — discussing and demonstrating 3D printing’s application to the visual arts. Joining him is Thomas Bernstein, a photographer and sculptor best known for his “Dancing Leaves” series.

Both Gina and Nick will be presented with “Horizon Awards,” as up-and-coming artists (and movers and shakers).

The TEA Talk is followed by a reception, across the street at the Westport Historical Society. They’ll serve hors d’oeuvres — and tea.

(Both events are free, and open to the public. For more information, click on www.westportarts.org)


Nick DiBerardino: Rhodes Scholar

Not many people turn down a Marshall Scholarship — the prestigious award giving outstanding American students the chance to earn a graduate degree in the U.K.

Westporter Nick DiBerardino did.

With good reason:  He won a Rhodes Scholarship too.

Today the Rhodes Trust named the 2007 Staples grad as 1 of 32 men and women selected to represent the U.S. at the University of Oxford, for up to 4 years.

Rhodes Scholarships are the oldest, best known — and most prestigious — academic awards available to American college graduates.

They were created in 1902 by the will of Englishman Cecil Rhodes, noted South African diamond merchant and African imperialist.  But enough about his tainted money.  Let’s talk about Nick.

He was selected from an initial pool of over 1,500 applicants.  Final selection is based on high academic achievement, integrity of character, a spirit of unselfishness, respect for others, potential for leadership, and physical vigor.  Rhodes hoped his Scholars would “esteem the performance of public duties as their highest aim.'”

Nick certainly does.  At Staples he was valedictorian, and president of both Student Assembly and the National Honor Society.  He also founded a club that collected and refurbished musical instruments, then delivered them to a Bridgeport elementary school.

Nick — a gifted musician — was so impressed by the students that he traveled to the school a couple of times each week, to teach music.

Nick DiBerardino

Now a senior at Princeton University, Nick is majoring in music composition.  A campus leader in student government and member of Phi Beta Kappa, he has received many awards for his compositions.  He founded the Undergraduate Composer Collective at Princeton.

Nick will earn an M.Phil degree in music at Oxford.

All 16 Rhodes Trust district committees met yesterday, to select 2 winners each.  209 applicants from 88  colleges and universities reached the final stage of the competition.

The Rhodes Trust pays all college and university fees.  It also covers expenses in Oxford and during vacations, and transportation to and from England.  Total value of the scholarship is approximately $50,000 a year.

In an email to Staples principal John Dodig, Nick paid tribute to the role his high school played in preparing him for his new adventure.

And, perhaps, in giving him the analytical skills to help choose between a Marshall Scholarship, and a Rhodes.