Connor Holloway is a Mount Vernon sophomore passionate about music and the strings. With many musical accomplishments under his belt, Connor has done it again – he auditioned for and made the Georgia All-State Orchestra! This is a prestigious, special event organized by the Georgia Music Educators Association (GMEA) that allows high-caliber students from all over the state to work with nationally renowned conductors in music education. The 3-day event is held in Athens, Georgia, in late February/Early March.
The auditions are rigorous and require extensive preparation. The first audition is held at the district level, and students must pass with a minimum score of 55 out of 80 to proceed to the second round. In the second-round audition, orchestra students compete against their peers at the state level. Students are ranked based on their second-round audition performance scores, which determine their selection into the Georgia All-State Orchestra. What an honor for Connor and The Mount Vernon School!
In addition to the All-State Orchestra event, Connor has been selected to perform at The British Suzuki Association’s Gala at Royal Albert Hall in London, UK, this spring. He was invited by his former British Suzuki instructor and is under the direction of Alison James (Upper School Music faculty) to prepare him stateside before the concert, which will be held on Easter Day.
The British Suzuki Association website details the background of the Suzuki philosophy and teaching methods, as developed by the Japanese violinist, educator, and humanitarian Dr. Shinichi Suzuki. His goal was not to create musicians but to inspire a more enriched life through studying music. An increasing number of professional musicians started their studies via the Suzuki method. Suzuki also believed that given proper training and the right learning environment, ALL children could acquire what most people call ‘talent,’ but Suzuki preferred to call ‘ability.’
Connor’s family, friends, and teachers are very proud of him and the significant amount of work he has already invested in his musical passion, with many more hours yet to come, in addition to his regular academic workload. Every piece must be memorized to an exacting standard while maintaining his current repertoire for other auditions and events, such as a spring concert with the Franklin Pond Quartet. Best of luck to Connor and his family as they prepare for and travel to the UK in a few weeks!