From the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders:
The Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders honored Isaiah Thomas of Maplewood, a 9th grade student at Columbia High School, during its 10th Annual “Essex County Celebrates Youth” program on Wednesday, April 24, 2013, at the Hall of Records. This happy and heartwarming event is held each year to acknowledge and encourage outstanding young people throughout the County who have already accomplished and contributed so much at a young age, and proven themselves to be role models for their peers. Isaiah’s award was sponsored and presented by Freeholder President Blonnie R. Watson of Newark.
In addition to Isaiah, this year’s honorees were: Nya Carter, a 5th grade student at the Cicely L. Tyson Elementary School in East Orange; Shaina Filian of Newark, a student at Rutgers University – Newark; Nicholas Gould, a senior at Nutley High School; Zachary Jones, a junior at Montclair High School; Stefan Lenz of South Orange, a junior at The Craig School in Lincoln Park; Chelsie Riche, a senior at Irvington High School; and Donald Rock, Jr., a senior at Belleville High School.
Freeholder President Watson opened the program by saying, “For the past 10 years we’ve made a commitment to recognize the accomplishments and talent of Essex County youth.” She continued, “Today we celebrate 8 extraordinary young people, and we hope this recognition will encourage them to continue to do well in all their endeavors.”
Isaiah, 14-years old, has been a musical prodigy since the age of 2, began performing publicly at the age of 4, has mastered the piano, the drums, the trumpet and the Hammond B-3 Organ, and plays guitar, harmonica and the recorder. He also has legendary vocal talents.
Isaiah was a member of the N. J. Regional Choir and has performed as a soloist and choir director with various vocal ensembles in church and in school. He also performed for the Mayor and City Council of Clifton, and as an 8th grader performed to rave reviews as the lead in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Raincoat”. Now in his first year at Columbia H. S., Isaiah plays trumpet in the school band, has already performed a featured singing and dancing role in its production of “Legally Blonde”, and also sings in 4 vocal ensembles. He has also been a piano and vocal soloist for The Holy Spirit Association/Loving Life Ministries and is the accompanist for all 5 choirs at Welcome Baptist Church in Newark.
Isaiah is currently in the recording studio with Crown Heights Affair and The Church of God and Saints of Christ Choir, and has written three songs that are scheduled to be included on Crown Heights Affair’s latest release. Isaiah’s range of talent and musical interest includes jazz, classical, gospel, pop and modern R&B. He is the son of his proud parents, Philip and Pamela.
“I am just delighted to recognize my honoree, the very talented Isaiah Thomas of Maplewood”, said Freeholder Watson, who also recalled having known Isaiah’s mother, Pamela, when she was a young girl growing up in her High Park Gardens Cooperative community in Newark. “Isaiah, I am so proud of you, wish you great success in school and in what I am sure will be fantastic musical career, and delighted to present you with this Commendation from the Board. Congratulations!”
The “Pledge of Allegiance” was led by honoree Donald Rock, Jr., and the program included vocal performances by another honoree, Isaiah Thomas, while the opening and closing prayers were offered by Calvin Pearson of the Clear View Baptist Church in Newark. At the conclusion of the program, the honorees and their guests were invited to a reception catered by students enrolled in the Culinary Arts program at Newark Vocational High School.