Hopkins Attends CMEA Regionals
On January 11 and 12, 21 Hopkins musicians traveled to Platt High School in Meriden for the Connecticut Music Educators Association (CMEA) Southern Regional Festival.
These musicians represented Hopkins in one of the five ensembles: Mixed Choir, Orchestra, Concert Band, Treble Choir or Jazz Band. After auditioning and learning pieces for their respective groups on their own, the musicians traveled to the festival for a weekend of music.
Lily Meyers ’20, a soprano in the Mixed Choir, said she “enjoyed Regionals because it was a completely different experience than singing in a choir at Hopkins.” Meyers continued, “Normally, we will learn pieces all together at school, but at Regionals it was exciting to be able to start rehearsing and quickly start focusing on how we would perform the pieces.”
Noah Stein ’21, a first violin in the Orchestra, was also one of the concert masters of the Orchestra. He said, “Since there were four concert masters and three pieces, the other three took turns as first chair during each of the pieces while I played a solo with the mixed choir. I got the solo music the day of the performance and I had about fifteen minutes of rehearsal with them and I think I played well for the amount of preparation I had.”
The Regional Festival draws high-school students from all of the southern region of Connecticut, which allowed Hopkins musicians to meet other students who study music at their schools. Sam Brock ’21, a bass in the Mixed Choir, “met many friends” and found common interests outside of the music. Brock said, “I met people who liked to sing and also liked math. I plan to see some people I met at a math team meet in the future.”
Alex Weisman ’20 was the only musician from Hopkins in Jazz Band and he said, “When I first got [to Regionals], I was intimidated by the other musicians, but, as the weekend went on I became much more comfortable.” He said: “Being around elite musicians allowed me to expand my abilities as a musician.”
One of the Hopkins Arts faculty took on an administrative role in the festival as well. Erika Schroth, Director of Choral Music, was one of the Co-Chairs of the Treble Choir. She described her view of the festival: “After spending a few years just bringing students to the festival, I think I just started to be more concretely aware of how valuable [the experience] is and how much our students get out of it. From the students who are experienced to the students who are just beginning, it is a huge growing experience for everyone.”
When looking back on the musical experience, Meyers said, “I loved singing in a much larger group. It felt powerful and it reminded me of the importance of listening to the group as a whole while singing, instead of just focusing on one part.”
Schroth agreed, and said that the festival “was great because I felt as though I was able to contribute to this thing that has been so wonderful for my students.”