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January 07, 2020

AHA’s Chelsie Lim Earns YoungArts Foundation’s Highest Honor

Chelsie Lim’s commitment to mastering the cello has earned her the top award from the National YoungArts Foundation.

“You may recall that last year, I was selected as a National YoungArts Foundation honorable mention winner. This year, I am humbled to let you know that I was chosen as a finalist in classical music, which is the highest honor an artist can receive from this foundation,” the Academy of the Holy Angels junior shared. “As a finalist, I am eligible to be a Presidential Scholar in the Arts my senior year, participate in National YoungArts Week in January, and will join a distinguished group of alumni, including Viola Davis and Timothee Chalamet.”


Students from across the nation who are 15 to 18 years of age are invited to compete in the YoungArts Foundation’s visual, literary, and performing arts categories. Discipline-specific panels evaluate the competitors using a blind adjudication process. Lim captured the judges’ attention by presenting four contracting works.

“I played the first movements of Bolcom’s ‘Cello Suite No. 1,’ Dvorak’s ‘Cello Concerto in B minor,’ Bach’s ‘Cello Suite IV,’ and Beethoven’s ‘Cello Sonata No. 5,’” the Cresskill resident explained.

“Chelsie Lim continues to expand her musical accomplishments in spite of the COVID restrictions all musicians are facing,” AHA Instrumental Music Director Mariann Annecchino said of her student’s latest achievement.

In 2019, Lim earned a gold medal with high distinction in the young artist category of the Third Berliner International Music Competition. She was also invited to participate in YoungArts New York.


Lim has been studying music at school and beyond since she was in the third grade. On Saturdays, she attends the pre-college program at the Juilliard School of Music. She is also part of the Perlman Music Program.


At Holy Angels, Lim plays cello for the AHA Orchestra and the Select Strings ensemble. During her freshman year, she was inducted into Tri-M, a national honor society for fine musicians who also demonstrate scholarship, character, leadership, and service. Lim is currently president of the Class of 2022. She recently earned a bronze medal for her work on the National Italian Exam: Level 3, and has been named to the AHA Principal’s List for maintaining a grade point average of 95 or above.

Founded by the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1879, the Academy of the Holy Angels is the oldest private girls’ school in Bergen County. While AHA is steeped in Catholic tradition, this prestigious high school serves young women from a broad spectrum of cultural and religious backgrounds. Over time, thousands of women have passed through AHA’s portals. Many go on to study at some of the nation’s best universities, earning high-ranking positions in medicine, government, law, education, public service, business, arts, and athletics. The Academy’s current leaders continue to further the SSND mission to provide each student with the tools she needs to reach the fullness of her potential—spiritually, intellectually, socially, and physically, by offering a first-rate education in a nurturing environment where equal importance is placed on academic excellence, character development, moral integrity, and service to others.