West Hartford Women's Chorale
Each year the West Hartford Women’s Chorale awards a scholarship to a deserving student in Greater Hartford. We look for students who have been active participants in their high school music program throughout their time in school, and who plan to continue with music in some capacity in college. But this year was an exception as we had two candidates we wanted to support.
Jason Hoopes, a senior at Hall High, was chosen as the 2019 scholarship recipient among strong competition. Jason is the jazz pianist for the Hall High Jazz Band, Jazz Combo and Concert Band. The committee was especially impressed with the breadth of his talent in academics and other extracurricular activities, as well as his accomplishments in music. It was clear from his recommendations that Jason is a truly exceptional individual, scholar and musician. He is described by his music director as “an incredibly gifted musician and composer/improviser who works hard to be well-balanced in his co-curricular and extra-curricular activities…. Jason represents the top 1% of students I’ve come across in the entirety of my career.”
Jason will attend Northeastern University in the fall and plans to major in computer science and music composition and technology. He will continue his involvement with music through the excellent Northeastern program as well as the Boston music scene. We are pleased to offer Jason a $1000 scholarship to support his pursuits.
Clare Porter impressed us with her passion for music. Although she was recruited for basketball to Miss Porter’s school, her heart drew her to music and she made the brave move to leave basketball after sophomore year. In her words, “Basketball was the brain freeze life dealt me; music was the cure to my headache.” Her essay really moved us.
Although we had chosen our scholarship recipient among an exceptional group of applicants, we had all been duly impressed with Clare, a singer and composer, who plays piano and guitar. Her music director shares this: “Clare’s lyrics are habitually powerful and induce chills even before one has heard them set to her music. What sets Clare apart is her balance of intellectual curiosity, humility and singular focus. She routinely collaborates with other songwriters and performers, lending her ideas and stunning voice freely and eagerly.”
We are pleased to offer Clare Porter, who will be attending the College of Holy Cross, our scholarship runner-up, a $500 scholarship to support her future in music.
Our goal is to provide music and music education for the benefit of the community. The following are a few examples of our recent activities to support this mission. (WHWC is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization)
Festival of Women's Voices
WHWC has organized this annual Festival celebrating its 4th year! The WHWC sponsors a guest composers for a day long event and collaborative concert. Our guest composers have been Gwyneth Walker (2016), Andrea Ramsey (2017), Joan Szymko (2018) and Kathleen Allan (2019). The Festival features a woman composer/director who workshops with several female choral groups, including adult choirs, select high school choirs, college choirs, and the West Hartford Women's Chorale. The groups learn vocal technique, musical interpretation and performance strategies. The day culminates in a combined concert featuring the music of the guest composer. The Festival is a true demonstration of how singing can be a lifelong pleasure! Proceeds from the last two year's concerts have benefitted The Bridge Family Center in West Hartford.
WHWC actively seeks opportunities to join school groups to enhance their performances. We also provide young artists with opportunities to perform with the Chorale. Collaborations have included students from schools in Glastonbury and Hall and Conard High Schools.
The chorale raises funds for a yearly donation to Gifts of Music, a program providing instruments and lessons to promising student musicians in the West Hartford school system. The Chorale also contributes to an annual scholarship awarded to a West Hartford Public School graduating senior who will be pursuing further music education.
WHWC regularly performs for the benefit of other charitable organizations such as Celebrate! West Hartford, West Hartford Holiday Stroll, the Wadsworth Atheneum Festival of Trees, and the West Hartford Symphony Orchestra.
Each June, the WHWC sponsors a booth at Celebrate! West Hartford, an annual town event.
Proceeds from the Festival of Women's Voices are shared with local charitable organizations that have included My Sister's Place and The Bridge Family Center. A portion of all concert proceeds are donated to the West Hartford Gifts of Music Program and to the WHWC annual scholarship.