For several years now, I have had the pleasure of congratulating the winners of the Bob Novack Music Awards, presented at Miami Beach area schools, while also introducing the winners to you. I like that, because it puts some very deserving and talented students in the spotlight.

Each year, the music faculty at local public schools select their most outstanding, talented and dedicated students, and 1308 Productions presents each one with the Bob Novack Music Award ad a scholarship check to recognize them and inspire their continued achievement.

They are: Najura Hanchard and Matteus Cobo, who according to a press release are “two high achieving and motivated students” from RKB Bay Harbor K-8 Center; and Mahitte Kaisaal from Nautilus Middle.

Onil Rodriguez, a music educator at RKB Bay Harbor, said Najura is first cellist in the school’s String Orchestra and she has performed with the Advanced Bobcat guitar Ensemble. “Najura has also performed with the South Florida Youth Symphony and the New World Youth Symphony Concert.”

He said Matteus plays double bass in the school’s String Orchestra and is an avid guitarist. “Matteus has performed numerous times with the Advanced Bobcat Guitar Ensemble and at many events in the school and community,” Rodriguez s said. Matteus also played lead guitar in a rock performance of classical music during the school awards assembly and ceremonies that were held at Miami Beach High School Auditorium.

Mahittte who recently graduated from Nautilus Middle School, was selected for the award because she is “an extremely talented musician who has been an important part of the Nautilus Jazz and Guitar Ensemble for two years, said Nautilus music educator Ray Modia. “Mahitte has also won many piano competitions and done many recitals in the community,” he said. Mahitte also served as president of the Nautilus Student Council.

The Bob Novack Award is presented in memory of the late Bob Novack, a life-long musician, band leader and music educator. He performed with famous bands throughout the United States, including the Glenn Miller Band. He led the Bob Novack Orchestra in South Florida for four decades.