Young musicians Piper McLaughlin and Nicholas Strawn have been selected as the Student Symphonic Fellows in the Andrew and Amy Vaughan Fellowship Program through the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra (WVSO). These students were selected following interviews and auditions before a community panel in Charleston, WV.
McLaughlin, senior at Trinity Christian School, studies flute and performs in her school concert and marching bands, as well as plays piano in jazz band and for the Praise Team ensemble. Her flute auditions have landed her seats in the WV All-State Band and WVU Honor Bands for the last several years. She is actively involved on the cross country team, in student government and Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and volunteers at school and Mon General Hospital in Morgantown.
Strawn is a senior and percussionist who participates in all aspects of the Capital High School’s instrumental music program; additionally, he plays in the WV Youth Symphony and in Tate’s Creek Indoor Percussion Ensemble. He has successfully auditioned for positions within the Kanawha County School’s All-County Band, WV All-State Band & Orchestra and the WVU Honors Orchestra. At Capital High School, Strawn is also a member of the National Honor Society.
As part of their Student Symphonic program activities, both McLaughlin and Strawn will sit on stage alongside WVSO musicians in different sections of the orchestra during rehearsals and meet renowned guest artists during the second half of the symphonic subscription series. They will conduct personal research about the music being performed by the WVSO.
Five other students were also chosen as finalists for this year’s event: Evan Ballard, Scott High School; Aya Hobieka and Joy Wu, George Washington High School; Kayla Stubblefield and James Newsome, Capital High School.
Sponsored by Dr. Andrew and Amy Vaughan for fifteen consecutive years, this program continues to develop and encourage WV high school students in pursuing a career as professional musicians, educators, composers or conductors of the future. This monitored and time-intensive training program for serious music students remains a unique program among orchestras throughout North America.
The West Virginia Symphony Orchestra is West Virginia’s premier performing arts organization, presenting classical, pops, and chamber-music concerts annually throughout the Mountain State. Currently in its 78th season, the WVSO is a proud member of the community and enriches the region by providing affordable, high-quality concerts, collaborations with West Virginia arts organizations and a nationally award-winning education program.