MIDDLETOWN TOWNSHIP, NJ -- Kayla Fedak of Leonardo has been awarded a music scholarship by the Eric P. Donoghue Scholarship Foundation.

   The home-schooled opera-singer-in-training will be attending Benedictine College in Kansas this fall, studying classical voice-opera, classical piano and viola.

   The scholarship was presented to Kayla by Louise I.

Donoghue, Eric's mother who is a retired French and Latin teacher at Henry Hudson Regional School, Highlands.

    Kayla has sung with the Concordia Youth Chorale for 10 ears and has been part of the Opera Lab summer program which has included leading roles in "Hansel and Gretel,"

the "Wizard of Oz," "Beauty and the Beast" and "Peter Pan."

Kayla Fedak of Leonardo receives an Eric P. Donoghue music scholarship from Louise I. Donoghue, the 22nd since the program was established nine years ago. 

PHOTO BY PETER E. DONOGHUE

   She has been playing classical piano for 12 years and classical viola six years. She has also played violin with the Concordia String Ensemble and taught several instruments to beginner students for four years.

   Kayla has also been an Irish step-dancer for eight years.

   She is a cantor at St. Catherine's Catholic Church in North Middletown and is the official funeral singer at the church.

   She is the daughter of David and Kathryn Fedak and the oldest of 10 children.

   Earlier this month, Eric Donoghue scholarships were presented to two Henry Hudson Regional graduating seniors, Barbara Torres of Highlands and Abigaile Slocum, Atlantic Highlands, by Peter E. Donoghue, Eric's father, on behalf of the foundation. The three scholarships awarded this year bring to a total of 22 given to area high school seniors in memory of the late Eric Donoghue in the nine years since his death.

   The scholarship program was instituted in 2003, the year Eric Donoghue died at age 32. It is awarded to area seniors who plan on pursuing music in college and thereafter and is financed entirely through the generosity of hundreds of friends and area residents.

   Eric Donoghue was an accomplished musician, composer and piano teacher. He was the organist at St. Agnes Catholic Church in Atlantic Highlands at the time of his death and had previously played at the First Presbyterian Church of Atlantic Highlands.

   He was raised in Atlantic Highlands, was a 1989 graduate of Henry Hudson Regional and attended Berklee College of Music in Boston.

   Barbara Torres also aspires to be an opera singer and is a cantor at St. Agnes Catholic Church in Atlantic Highlands. She plans to major in music at Brookdale Community College, continue to take voice lessons and to be part of the Concordia Chorale and Concordia Opera Lab.

   Abby Slocum has been involved in the Henry Hudson Concert, Jazz and Marching Bands, playing alto saxophone.

She was also a member of the school's A Cappella choir. She will be attending Long Island University School of Visual and Performing Arts.