By Elaine Sorrentino
“I was asked by an English teacher this year, ‘What is the most beautiful thing you know?’ My response: ‘The moment while performing when it all ties together. The moment you get goosebumps up and down your whole body, and nothing can break the beauty and power of the moment,'” wrote South Shore Conservatory Summer Music Festival (SMF) euphonium player Rosemary Hoitt in a recent essay.
Rosemary’s beautiful words were shared by Summer Music Festival Director Eric Laprade at last week’s final performance, immediately before awarding her the Malcolm W. Rowell Scholarship. The scholarship, awarded annually to an outstanding SMF musician who has been with the program for at least two years, and intends to pursue a music degree, honors Rowell’s deep commitment to music education, and his 23 years as SMF Music Director.
Recently graduated from Norwell High School, Rosemary, a SMF participant for the past four summers, heads to Ithaca College this fall to pursue her dream of becoming a music educator. “As a music educator, I would not only strive to create these moments, but to mold students into strong individuals with strong mindsets, perseverance, and confidence. These qualities have been instilled in me by my most influential music teachers – notably the wonderful staff at Summer Music Festival – and I want to be able to pass on these lessons that are not only applicable in music but in life as well,” she says.
Eric Laprade said this about Rosemary, “It has been a privilege to work with Rosemary over the past four years, and watch her grow into the wonderful musician and human being she is today. We know she will have a positive impact on the Ithaca College community when she begins her studies this fall, and can’t wait to see all of the great things she does.”
Rosemary told me that SMF has influenced her life dramatically by introducing her to a setting and a culture where expectations were very high for all students, inspiring her to raise her own playing standards. It brought her together with ‘forever teachers and mentors,’ such as Laprade, SMF Jazz Ensemble Conductor Aaron Bush, and SMF Tuba Instructor Chip Halt. The program has also brought her together with some of her closest friends from all over the area; friends she cherishes deeply.
I also discovered that music is not the only thing that inspires Rosemary. Her proudest non-musical moment was during Massachusetts Educational Theatre Guild’s festival competition preliminary round last year, at the Duxbury Performing Arts Center, when she performed a “giant monologue” from SubUrbia. Rosemary had never performed it in front of an audience before, and didn’t know what to expect. The crowd went wild after her monologue, which filled her with great joy.
Having been involved in a number of ensembles and festival, she has a hard time deciding what her favorite musical experience has been. “It comes down to either the final performance of Crown Imperial during my Italy tour with NEC’s Massachusetts Youth Wind Ensemble this past February, or this past week when Mr. Rowell paid me a complement on a solo I had in a piece at SMF. Playing in a beautiful concert hall overseas was an amazing experience, but what was even more impactful was that a man with such a passion and influence for music came to me directly to pay a complement and to give advice.”
Learn more about SSC programs, including Summer Music Festival at sscmusic.org, call 781-749-7565, ext. 10, or find South Shore Conservatory on Facebook.
Elaine Sorrentino is South Shore Conservatory’s Communications Director.