By Sarah Troxler
In the spring, we are used to seeing signs peppering the lawns of proud families: “Home of a 2017 Grad!” This sight comes hand in hand with the flourish of spring. Warm, sunny weather, budding flowers dotting the fields, and the excitement that comes with the newness of the season and the close of the school year. For high school seniors, this feeling is amplified tenfold. They are preparing to usher in a new era of life, armed with all they have experienced and learned in their first 18 years.
At South Shore Conservatory (SSC), our high school seniors are very dear to us. Many of them have been in our community for eight, nine, ten years or more – much longer than I myself have been on faculty. They have literally grown up in our community, many of them studying with the same teacher for that period of time. They have taken advantage of the wide range of offerings we have – from private instrument lessons, to group classes and ensembles, summer programs, performance opportunities. Even seniors who have joined SSC in more recent years have done so because they have taken an extra step to reach beyond themselves and try something new, hone a skill, or become immersed in artistic endeavors.
Max Nakashima, a Cohasset senior who has been taking lessons at the Conservatory for nine years, studies percussion with Ed Sorrentino. Max told me, “Without a doubt my time with the Conservatory has shaped my character and helped me grow not only as a musician but as a person. I know my life would not be the same if it were not for the Conservatory.”
On May 5, we celebrate our SSC seniors with an annual Graduating Seniors Recital. Every year, seniors gather and are recognized for their time here, and present a special performance of their choice. This year, 15 seniors will perform for their families, friends, SSC faculty and staff members who have had the privilege of watching these students grow up. My role at SSC gives me a unique interaction with students, allowing me to work with those who study a variety of instruments and styles, as I serve as piano accompanist, and organize many student performances and events. This senior recital is particularly special, because it is the last significant event many of them will take part in at SSC. I know many of them personally because of their years of participation in all that SSC has to offer.
“SSC has shown me how to use music to discover who I am, express myself, inspire others, and celebrate life,” says Dalton Letorney who has been part of SSC’s community for eleven years, and studies voice with Lorna Jane Norris. “No matter my future, music will guide me, ground me, and serve as the perfect medium with which I can share stories, emotions, and love with every listener.”
The Graduating Seniors Recital is an opportunity to recognize our students for their accomplishments as musicians, their hard work and creativity, and to celebrate their journey. These students are singers, pianists, cellists, guitarists, drummers. But they are also artists, caretakers, political enthusiasts, actors, writers, activists, leaders, and so much more. We would like to take credit and say we helped make them who they are, but the larger reality is that these students have made the community at South Shore Conservatory who we are.
Join us Friday, May 5, 7 pm at One Conservatory Drive in Hingham to celebrate these talented seniors in performance. The concert is free and open to the public. In addition to Dalton and Max, students performing include Nick Alessi, Katherine Bynarowicz, Sarah Calame, Maeve Chapman, Francesca Corrado, Brigie Driscoll, Julianna Fenton, Will Figler, Noah Goodman, Christian Koomey, Jewel McCauliffe, Sebastian Ramirez, and Kate Sullivan.