Miss Massachusetts 2016 Crowned

Alissa Musto was crowned Miss Massachusetts at the Hanover Theater in Worcester on July 2.

“I feel excited,” Musto said, after her crowning. “It’s been a great week. I was very happy with all of the areas of competition.”

The new Miss Massachusetts thanked her local pageant directors – The Miss Boston/Miss Cambridge organization, her family and friends, and her fellow contestants.
“It’s so great to see the support I’ve had from my sisters,” she said. “This is truly about sisterhood and I love every one of them.”

Musto is a Harvard graduate and is a professional piano player – a talent that came in handy, as she wowed the crowd with an intricate piano performance that mixed classical and rock.

“I started playing the piano when I was four,” said Musto, who also goes by ‘Alissa Piano.’ “I could read music before I could read words.”

Musto’s father was a professional musician and piano teacher, she said, so it wasn’t ever something she was going to avoid.

“I wasn’t going to get out of it,” she said. “I competed in talent competitions and shows, growing up, and when I was nine years old I was on the television show, America’s Most Talented Kid.”

Musto said she does a wide variety of performing to be successful as a piano player.

“I do a little bit of everything to make it in this industry – that’s what you have to do,” she said. “Bars, restaurants, clubs – doing piano shows, weddings, corporate events – I play for all different people in all walks of life, and I think that’s really helped me in this pageant, just being relate-able, and being able to get up there, not knowing your audience at all, and just taking control of the situation.”

Musto said she’s excited to perform in Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City in September, and she will have her grandmother in mind when she does. September 11 will be the date of the Miss America finals, and is also the ten-year anniversary of Musto’s grandmother.

“She was my biggest fan, and she was from New Jersey, so to have the opportunity to perform in the state that she called home would mean more than anything to me,” she said.

As Miss Massachusetts, Musto hopes to promote her platform, Changing Keys: Connecting Kids With Keyboards, and help introduce children to opportunities through music.

“It connects keyboards and pianos with local schools and students,” she said. “Right now, music education is in a crisis. The organization I’ve founded is more of a long-term solution. We put pianos in the schools, and one piano can create 1,000 musicians.”


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