We are tremendously grateful for the resilience and resourcefulness displayed by our faculty and our students during the past two very challenging years. The great majority of our students were able to continue their lessons, remotely, and to make wonderful progress, even during those months when the risks posed by COVID-19 prevented us from holding lessons in person. We were thrilled to be able to welcome many of our students back to our studios this past September, as well as to continue working on line or by telephone with others.
Since events with an audience in attendance are not yet feasible, several of our teachers have organized other types of performance opportunities for their students. For instance, Mackenzie Carlson coordinated two virtual recitals by his piano students during the past year, and Laurie Ticehurst, also of our piano faculty, held a remote performance class for her students this fall.
We would like to share news of some of the special achievements of our students and teachers over the past year:
Edward Ainsley, a student of Daina Dodbiba at the Conservatory and a third-grade student at Episcopal Academy, played piano at the Episcopal Academy Chapel for the annual Christmas Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration.
Aaroosh Das, a student of Marcantonio Barone, recorded a piano solo for this year’s virtual talent show at Katherine D. Markley Elementary school, where he is in the second grade.
Hannah Kwak, who studied flute with Kimberly Trolier at the Conservatory beginning in 2017, has continued her lessons remotely with Dr. Trolier after moving to Kansas last year. She is now first-chair flutist in the Honors Band of the East Central Kansas Music Educators’ Association.
In 2021, Madeline Nazarian, a violin student of John Sergovic, advanced from the Prysm Strings Young Artists program to the Philadelphia Region Youth String Music ensemble of the PYO Music Institute.
During the past year, Alexander Panku, a distinguished member of the Conservatory’s piano faculty, gave a series of concerts at The Watermark, in Philadelphia, including a solo piano recital and performances of chamber music in collaboration with violinist Lenuta Ciulei and cellist George Atanasiu.
Soprano Emily Reich is a long-time student of Kathryna Barone. Over the past several months, she participated in a variety of performances. Ms. Reich sang as soprano soloist in the professional quartet at Adath Israel Synagogue in Merion and as section leader of the Synagogue choir, she sang with the Philadelphia Chorale as they accompanied Andrea Boccelli at his recent Philadelphia concert, and she gave a solo performance of music by Samuel Barber.
In October, Marian Stevens, who studies piano with Laurie Ticehurst at the Conservatory, performed with tenor Peter Spengeman in a recital of songs by Gaetano Donizetti, Franz Schubert, and Richard Strauss.
Kimberly Trolier, the Conservatory’s beloved flute instructor, was named a finalist of the Eighth Annual PYO Music Institute Ovation Award for Inspiration and Outstanding Leadership in Music Education.
In 2021, Ethan Visor, a student of John Sergovic, was named first-chair viola of the Radnor Middle School Orchestra.
Having been a student of Marcantonio Barone at the Conservatory during a year’s stay in the Philadelphia area, twelve-year old pianist Sangyoo Yee continued his lessons on line for several more months after returning to his hometown, Hadong, South Korea. In September, he won first prize in the middle-school division of the 35th Students’ Piano Competition of the Hadong Cultural Center. This fall, he was accepted as a piano student of You-Hyun Lee at the renowned Korea National Institute for the Gifted in Arts.
Angelina Zhu, a piano student of Laurie Ticehurst, is keyboard player in the Valley Forge Middle School Jazz Band. She also plays clarinet in the concert band and violin in the school orchestra.