Coming this Fall: Prelude!

Click here to read the May e-newsletter, which celebrates the end of this season and looks forward to next season. We’re especially excited to unveil Prelude! a brand new beginner strings program. Also read up on the success of the online auction, our upcoming annual meeting, vocal programs, and Summer Symphony Camp.

 

VYO Senior Spotlight!

Nate Gunter, bass trombone
BFA St. Albans High School
Joined VYOA in 2012
VYO – 3 years
VT Youth Philharmonia – 1 year
Sinfonia – 1 year

What do you love about playing your instrument? 
I love the way it can take me away from my stresses and problems, if only for an hour or two.

What has been the most memorable piece that you performed/had with VYO?
Dvorak’s New World Symphony was my favorite piece we ever played.

What was your biggest musical breakthrough?
Gaining the ability to play the famous trombone excerpt from the William Tell Overture.

What other sports/groups/activities are you involved in?
I’m on the golf team.

If you could perform with any musician, living or dead, who would it be & why?
I would perform with Trombone Shorty, he seems like a lot of fun.

What are your plans after graduation?
To attend the Crane School of Music and get a degree in Music Education.

VYO Senior Spotlight!

Abba Weimer, clarinet
Champlain Valley Union High School
Joined VYOA in 2016
VYO – 1 year
 

 

 

 

 

What do you love about playing your instrument?
Playing clarinet is like an escape from the outside pressures of reality. Whenever a difficult piece or a lovely melodic passage comes along, there is a feeling of pleasure and satisfaction when played as perfectly as possible.

 
What has been the most memorable experience that you had with VYO?
This was my first year as part of the VYOA family, and Reveille was the highlight. Working hard for hours each day was fun.

 
What was your biggest musical breakthrough?
This year I was the only clarinetist from Vermont accepted in the All-Eastern Orchestra. Participating in an honours orchestra was an amazing experience where I felt like we were being treated as professionals because everyone acted on their best behaviour and came prepared.

 
What other sports/groups/activities are you involved in?
I’m involved in soccer year round. I am also working at the Shelburne Museum (gift store and carousel).

 
What are your plans after graduation?
I will be attending Skidmore College where I will be playing soccer and continuing clarinet while studying physics.

VYO Senior Spotlight!

Neil Hutcheon, trombone
Essex High School
Joined VYOA in 2013
VYO – 2 years
Vermont Youth Philharmonia – 2 years

 

 

 

What do you love about playing your instrument? 
Trombone is a great instrument for me since I love really brassy, awesome music (or maybe I like that music because I play trombone) and trombone always gets the most powerful fanfares in that sort of music. Also, it is a very versatile instrument and can be played in a large array of music genres.

What has been the most memorable experience that you have had with VYO?
My most memorable piece was probably the Bacchanal from Samson and Delilah. I was playing the bass trombone part and at the end of that piece I pretty much just got to play as loud as I could and it was an absolute blast. Also, the tour to Iceland [in 2015] was amazing and I wouldn’t have made some of the great friends that I still have today.

What would you like to change about the classical music world?
If I could change classical music I would change people’s mind set about it. I think people need to realize that it’s so much more than just a fancy night out for rich retirees. It’s such an expansive genre that once you explore deeper into it anybody can find a composer or piece that they like and can relate to.

What was your biggest musical breakthrough?
My biggest breakthrough was last summer when I was playing the Debussy Nocturnes and the brass section was told that we were playing together but separate. We were asked to listen to the other sections in the orchestra rather than just our own. This realization not only made me listen to the other sections more but also to myself. It really improved my playing stylistically and my intonation.

What other sports/groups/activities are you involved in?
In the winter I am captain of our Varsity Nordic Skiing team but in the other seasons I play as much music as I can, including pit orchestras, jazz band (both in school and outside) and I also play with a fusion combo called the Nomads.

If you could perform with any musician, living or dead, who would it be & why?
This is a hard question because it probably changes every week for me but as of now I would love to play with Vic Wooten. Vic’s playing inspires me to get better even though he doesn’t play trombone, I would just love to get as good at extended techniques as he has. I think his mastery of the bass is what many musicians should strive for. I also think he would be great to jam with because he’s a super nice guy.

What are your plans after graduation?
Next year I’m planning on attending St Olaf college in Minnesota to double major in both music and computer science.

 

VYO Senior Spotlight!

Connor Zwonik, percussion
Colchester High School
Joined VYOA in 2011
VYO – 3 years
Vermont Youth Philharmonia – 1 year
Vermont Youth Sinfonia – 1 year
Vermont Youth Winds – 1 year
 

 

 

 

 

What do you love about playing your instrument? 
I like how every time I play my instrument it can be heard.  Being able to be a powerful and driving force is fun when playing in the orchestra or band and I enjoy being able to lead the ensemble in many occasions.  I like how versatile percussion is and how there are many different instruments to play, from snare drum and timpani to drum set and marimba.  There is something for everyone in the percussion section.

What has been the most inspiring or memorable experience that you have had with VYO?
My most memorable experience with the VYO would definitely be my senior solo last December.  Being able to play at the OrchestraChorusPalooza Concert was very rewarding and it gave me an opportunity to play a not so well known piece.  It also gave the audience the chance to listen to a percussion solo which is not something that you hear every day.

What has been your most memorable experience throughout your high school music career?
My most memorable experience was participating in the New England Music Festival for all four years of high school.  I greatly enjoyed being a part of the festival because it gave me the opportunity to meet fellow students from around New England and it also gave me the chance to explore new music in both orchestral and band repertoire.

What other sports/groups/activities are you involved in?
I have been a part of my school’s band for all four years of high school and a part of jazz band for two years as well.  I have been a member of the Colchester High School Math Team for all four years and have been a member of the Speech Team for two years now.  I am also the secretary of the National Honor Society, I have played in the pit band for school musicals, became an Eagle Scout as part of the Boy Scouts of America, and have mentored fellow students in the district in math.

If you could perform with any musician, living or dead, who would it be & why?
I would want to perform with Gustav Holst because he wrote many great pieces that utilized brass and percussion such as the Planets Suite.  I would like to learn from him and see how he crafted all those masterful works.

What are your plans after graduation?
I plan to attend a four-year college to study mathematics.

Online Auction Preview!

Help us raise $10,000 for student financial aid …and have fun doing it!

The Online Auction opens one week from today. Click here for a sneak peek! Register to bid today and you’ll be ready when the auction opens.

Want to help us get a head-start on our goal? You can make a donation right now toward financial aid!

The VYOA would like to extend its heartfelt thanks to all of the businesses and individuals who donated items for this fundraiser. Please patronize these businesses and tell them we sent you!

 

VYO Senior Spotlight!

Caroline Tally, cello
Hanover High School
Joined VYOA in 2014
VYO – 3.5 years

What do you love about playing your instrument?
When I was little, I was enamored with the “friend-like” size of the cello and the deep, pure sound it made.  Also, like many young string players, I couldn’t help but compare my bow with a wand from Olivander’s Shop in Harry Potter!  Creating sound and making music seemed so powerful and magical.  Eleven years later, I still feel the same way.

What has been the most inspiring or memorable piece or experience that you performed/had with VYO?
Performing Beethoven No. 9 for the VYO’s 50th Anniversary in 2014 was incredible. The piece was a journey for me – daunting (and a bit of a stretch) at the start and triumphant at the close. After hours of rehearsal, it came together and felt like a huge celebration of talent and hard work from every section of the orchestra.

What would you like to change about the classical music world?
I would love to see the classical music world be less stuffy and more accessible to younger audiences.  I really appreciate the informality and high-level playing of the TURNmusic series and other unpretentious chamber groups popping up on the classical music scene.  My non-musical friends do not “get” how playing classical music can be “fun,” but these performances show the camaraderie and collaboration that many think is “reserved” for athletics and theater.  I am fortunate to have spent two summers at Kinhaven Music School in Weston, Vermont, where many of the most serious musicians I know play with barefeet.

What was your biggest musical breakthrough?
Shout out to my cello teacher, John Dunlop!  Studying with John throughout the past three years has been transformative.  After years of intentional and supportive Suzuki lessons, it was exciting to break-out of Suzuki repertoire and explore new pieces and études with John.  Never in a million years did I think I would ever get to play the Elgar Cello Concerto in E minor!

What other sports/groups/activities are you involved in?
The cello seems to find its way into all areas of my life.  Last year, for an independent physics project, I researched the physics of sound and analyzed the sound spectrums of different cellos – including my teacher’s.  This year I have been reading a lot of Russian literature and exploring its connections to music and history.  When not thinking of ways to use music to make school more interesting, I am editor of my high school’s yearbook and a fair-weather skier and hiker. My sister, Courtney, and I also volunteer with the strings program at a local elementary school – which is very important to me.  My public school kindergarten teacher introduced me to the cello, and I am forever grateful.

What are your plans after graduation?
This summer I am really excited to be spending 8 weeks at Boston University’s Tanglewood Institute in Lenox, Massachusetts.  I can’t wait to focus exclusively on music and be free of homework!  In the fall, I start at Williams College in Massachusetts, where I hope to double major in music and physical science.

 

VYO Senior Spotlight!

Kate Mori, trombone
Burr & Burton Academy
Joined VYOA in 2015
VYO – 2 years

 

What do you love about playing your instrument?

I really like that the trombone can play in lots of different styles of music. It has been really fun to play in orchestras, bands, and jazz bands. The trombone is capable of being played in many settings and it has allowed me to explore different types of music.

What has been the most inspiring or memorable piece or experience that you performed/had with VYO?

The most memorable experience I’ve had with VYO was my first day of Reveille two years ago. I had never played in a full orchestra before and the sound was different from any group I’d gotten the chance to play in before. I enjoyed meeting a bunch of new people and experiencing the pieces we were playing come together really quickly.

What was your biggest musical breakthrough?

One of my most memorable musical experiences was my freshman year at All State Jazz Band. I had never been around musicians who were so serious about music and it was a really eye-opening experience for me. I realized that I could grow a lot as a player just by being surrounded by great musicians.

What other sports/groups/activities are you involved in?

All of my activities outside of VYO usually have to do with music. I play in my high school band, jazz combo, and after-school electronic music group. I also give trombone lessons and tutor at middle schools in my town.

If you could perform with any musician living or dead, who would it be and why?

If I could perform with any musician it would be Duke Ellington. He was such a major influence for jazz music. How he tailored the pieces specifically for his players added to the unique sound and style he created through his music.

What are your plans after graduation?

I’m going to college for either music performance or music education.

 

VYChorus Senior Spotlight!

Sadie Jones, voice
South Burlington High School
Joined VYOA in 2016
VYChorus – 1 year

 What do you love most about singing? 
While it is impossible to choose one thing, I can say that I love how music unites people. It is a medium for people to express themselves, and has the capability to bring together a group of people no matter the circumstances.

Who has been your most important musical influence?
My voice teacher Sarah Cullins has been my most important musical influence throughout my career. She has inspired me with her passion for music and teaching, and has helped to create an environment where challenging yourself personally and musically is both exciting and fun.

What has been the most inspiring experience that you have had as a member of the VYChorus?
The most inspiring experience that I have had as a member of the VYC has been meeting all of the dedicated student musicians who are as passionate about music as I am. It is encouraging to be surrounded by people who are so devoted and excited about this opportunity to be a part of such an incredible organization.

Why did you choose to join the VYChorus?
I chose to join the VYC because I wanted to be exposed to music in a setting outside of school. Being a part of this chorus has helped me to meet new people and challenge myself to be the best musician I can be.

What other sports/groups/activities are you involved in?
When I’m not at VYC… I like to spend my time doing a variety of activities such as dancing on the SBHS dance team, tutoring and mentoring students at FH Tuttle Middle School, as well as participating in community theater productions such as Lyric’s Mary Poppins.

If you could perform with any musician, living or dead, who would it be & why?
If I had the chance to perform with any musician, it would be Eric Whitacre. His efforts to incorporate music and technology are truly spectacular, as well as his composition and direction skills. Even to be included in one of his virtual choirs would be incredible!

What are your plans after graduation?
While I am not yet sure of what school I will be attending or what I will be majoring in this fall, I am positive I will be pursuing a minor in music wherever I go.

 

VYChorus Senior Spotlight!

Noah Gilbert-Fuller, voice
South Burlington High School
Joined VYOA in 2016
VYChorus – 1 year

 

 

What do you love most about singing? 
I love being able to perform music that allows me to learn more about the cultures and ideas behind different genres. Performing music is enough reward for studying it.

Who or what has been your most important musical influence?
Lin-Manuel Miranda and Frank Ocean are some of my favorite songwriters, but I have a deep appreciation for any live jazz or indie music. Hearing musicians with a genuine passion for their work inspires me.

What has been the most inspiring experience that you have had as a member of the VYChorus?
Being able to work with and communicate with the students and teachers has helped me appreciate choral learning and performance immensely.

Why did you choose to join the VYChorus?
I went on a trip to New York to perform at Carnegie Hall with a group of musicians from VYOC, and Mr. Pillsbury helped teach us. We had a blast, and seeing the commitment and passion of the others convinced me to sign up. 

What other sports/groups/activities are you involved in?
I’ve participated in my schools’ theater program since I was a freshman. I’m a part of my schools’ chamber choir, and I am a member of the Boy Scouts.

If you could perform with any musician, living or dead, who would it be & why?
Probably someone like D’Angelo, or The Roots . I’d love to just vibe with a group of musicians one day.

What are your plans after graduation?
I plan on staying in Vermont, taking a few classes nearby, and pursuing music on my own, or perhaps in education.