How music influenced her path in life

Chamber ensemble with Emma DwyerBy Elaine Sorrentino
“Making music and art with other humans creates a phenomenal emotional bond that connects us in a completely unique way, and to be able to experience this every day is a true blessing,” is my favorite line from an essay, written by student clarinetist Emma Dwyer about how music affected her life. I hear different variations of this statement from students and faculty members who feel fortunate to share their talent/passion daily, and witness its effect on others.  It’s remarkable.

This summer, Emma, a recent Scituate High School graduate, received the Malcolm W. Rowell Scholarship, which is awarded each year to an outstanding Summer Music Festival (SMF) musician who has been an SMF participant for at least two years, and intends to pursue a music degree. This scholarship honors Rowell’s deep commitment to music education, and his 23 years as SMF Music Director.

SMF Music Director Eric Laprade explains why she was chosen as this year’s recipient,  “Emma has a bright future as an artist and teacher. She leads through her musicianship and embodies what it means to be dedicated and committed to something you are passionate about. During her many years at Summer Music Festival, we have witnessed her develop into a leader amongst her peers. We are excited by her potential as an educator and eager to see her give back and enrich the lives of others through music making.”

Ithaca College-bound Emma has been involved with SMF for five years.  She talks about how SMF improved her playing, “When I first participated in SMF, I was entering my freshman year of high school; and my musicianship and musical abilities clearly reflected my young age. Up until that point I had never experienced advanced and mature music, but I certainly had quite the introduction when Ticheli’s Vesuvius was handed out to us that year. To say I was overwhelmed is an understatement, yet this was a significant transition for me. I was suddenly exposed to an environment where the expectations higher and where I quickly learned that it was crucial for me to take responsibility and play with not only accuracy but also musical intent.”

According to Emma, the music educators in her life, both in Scituate and at Summer Music Festival, have forever impacted her life, showing her a deeper and more emotional understanding of music.  Clearly they have inspired and motivated her to pursue a career in music education, so that she too might have a similar impact on others.

“I’ve always aspired to be like the amazing music educators that have supported me in my musical career. I plan on performing as well, as I enjoy it immensely and I would like to always keep that aspect of music in my life, says Emma.

In addition to being a Scituate High School (SHS) Symphonic Band section leader for three years, and a member of the SHS Jazz Band and SHS Honors Symphonic Band for four years, Emma was also a member of the National Honor Society.  While in high school she took ballet, participated in the volleyball club, and took part in a drama festival.  We wish her luck as she continues her musical journey this fall.

To learn more about SSC programs, including Summer Music Festival, visit, call 781-749-7565, ext. 10, or find South Shore Conservatory on Facebook.

Elaine Sorrentino is South Shore Conservatory’s Communications Director.


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