Two students in the Gunn Music Program, tenor Drew Sutherland ’21 and alto Yolanda Wang ’21, are performing this week in the National Association for Music Education’s All-National Honors Choir, which represents the top vocalists in the country.
In lieu of in-person performances, NAfME is hosting its first virtual All-National Honor Ensembles program, January 7-9. The event includes rehearsals with AHNE Conductors and workshops with renown clinicians, and concludes with recorded concerts by each ensemble, which will be premiered online. Frederick Gunn School students also will have the opportunity to virtually "meet" Grammy-winning composer and conductor Eric Whitacre, who is a featured speaker at the event.
The NAfME Honors Choir will be conducted by Frances Fonza, who is the Director of Worship and Arts at Mt. Ennon Baptist Church in Clinton, Maryland and teaches at Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C. NAfME also selects the top students nationally for Modern Band, Jazz Ensemble, Guitar Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, and Concert Band.
Seven students in the Gunn Music Program auditioned virtually this fall for the 2021 Northern Regional Music Festival hosted by the Connecticut Music Educators Association and five were accepted. Although CMEA is unable to hold a traditional music festival this year, accepted students have the opportunity to participate virtual workshops with their ensemble. Cellists Dayne Bolding ’23 and Sean Christiansen ’21 will participate in the Connecticut Northern Regional Music Workshop, "The Art of Listening and Playing With the Orchestra," led by André Raphael, Music Director of the UCONN Symphony Orchestra, on January 14. The workshop is participatory and students will learn how to play in the orchestra and become an active listener.
Bolding was also selected for bass voice and will participate with Sutherland, Wang, and Maggie Xiang ’21, soprano voice, in the Connecticut Northern Regional Music Workshop for Choir, led by James D. Niblock, D.M.A., Associate Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Allegheny College, on January 15. Titled "On the Right Track: Building Up Voices Through Mind and Body," the participatory workshop will focus on developing vocal fitness and singing skill. All five students are now qualified to audition for the CMEA All-State Music Festival.