Four aspiring string players received merit scholarships for their stellar accomplishment in the Summer Arts at Mason 2021 strings programs. Reflecting on their experience, the scholarship recipients shared their excitement of performing together in person and their most memorable experience in the summer.
The merit scholarship is sponsored by the Associated Chamber Music Players (ACMP) in support of our summer music programs, Mason Strings Camp and Mason Chamber Music Intensive.
Isaiah Garrett, Halyn (Chloe) Kim, Avery Lee, and Abby Poppe received this year’s ACMP scholarships after a comprehensive review of their applications, essays, program participation, and feedback from the program director and string faculty.
Garrett, a first-time program participant assigned as the First Violinist, said that attending the Mason Chamber Music Intensive program “was like a breath of fresh air,” and the diverse group of instrumentalists reminded him of the joy of creating music and learning from one another along the way.
“I learned how to lead an ensemble without a conductor and how to communicate with the pianist,” said Garrett. “Additionally, I enjoyed playing with the second violin soloist and learned both of our parts well to understand how they fit together.”
Poppe said that working with other committed musicians motivated her to be a better violist and taught her valuable lessons of being a collaborative artist. “When we finished playing, I was proud of what our hard work could accomplish,” said Poppe. “The challenge of this camp expanded my range of abilities and showed my potential. I was proud when I learned a more difficult song.”
“There is no better way to emerge from the isolation of the pandemic than by playing chamber music!” said Professor June Huang, assistant professor of violin and director of strings at George Mason University, who directed both of our strings and chamber ensemble as summer programs. “This past summer, the participants at the Mason Strings Camp and Mason Chamber Music Intensive came together determined to create music. Their positivity, resilience, and musicianship made the world a celebratory place to be and reminded us all that every note counts.”
Mason Strings Camp and Mason Chamber Music Intensive are summer music programs designed for serious young musicians who wish to gain ensemble experience in their music learning. Directed and coached by Mason Dewberry School of Music string and piano faculty, programs include small ensemble and chamber music performance opportunities, and students work directly with esteemed musicians and orchestra directors in all aspects of music enrichment.
In addition to challenging repertoires and talented faculty, Lee, who was selected as a Concertmaster, shared that the close-knit community made playing music enjoyable. “It has been a pleasure to make new friends in both my orchestra and quartet who enjoy playing an instrument as much as I do.”
Although the programs have ended in the summer, our young musicians found new opportunities to apply their recently developed skills and continued collaborating with other young musicians.
“I really enjoy how the viola sounds with other instruments,” said Poppe, who decided to try out another orchestra program and auditioned for The Capitol Symphonic Youth Orchestras.
“Through the Mason Strings Camp, I learned the importance of being able to cue to start performing at the right time,” said Lee. Shortly after the program, Lee auditioned for the American Youth Debut Orchestra, the beginner-level orchestra of the American Youth Philharmonic Orchestra (AYPO). She was selected as the concertmaster and started her very first full-year orchestra experience.
Congratulations on our ACMP scholarship recipients and program participants. We wish all the best to our young musicians as they embark on the next chapter of their musical journey.