Foothills Music Club presents Outstanding Musicians

Published 5:54 pm Thursday, August 3, 2017

On Sunday, August 13, 4 p.m., at FENCE (Foothills Equestrian Nature Center), the Foothills Music Club will present four of its outstanding scholarship winners in concert, to honor FMC founder Lesley Oakes and to benefit the Young Musicians Scholarship Program. 

These college-bound students were asked to write something about themselves so that concertgoers will have insight about each of these fine musicians. Following are excerpts from their comments. 

Alex Harrelson

From Alex Harrelson, tenor: My parents, Edward and Petra Harrelson, have been extremely important and influential not only in my life but also in my pursuit of becoming a better musician. I’m a 17 year old graduate of Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy and will attend Davidson College as a Millner Music Scholar this fall. I plan to double major in history and music. I will study voice under Professor Jacquelyn Culpepper beginning with a part in Mozart’s The Magic Flute.  As a new member of the Davidson Chorale, I’m looking forward to performing in Italy this winter. My current voice teacher is Brenda Quilling, a former opera singer and current Foothills Music Club member, who has helped me improve so much over the last three years.  My favorite thing about music is that it surrounds everything and has the potential to add beauty to life, provided that we have the means to harness that beauty. Apart from music, I enjoy studying history and trivia and I am currently working on my Eagle Scout Project.

Jamie Riedy

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From Jamie Riedy a bass-baritone/countertenor who has studied with Mary Meyers for more than seven years: I am the son of John and Christine Riedy, and the brother of Kate and Maggie.  I have enjoyed singing, acting and dancing in thirty-seven theatrical productions and three films, alongside my siblings and mom. I will be attending Furman University in the fall pursuing a B.S in Physics and a B.A in Theatre Arts. The paramount element of music I most enjoy is how extensively it can represent the powerful emotions and intricacies of life in such a simple and aesthetically pleasing manner. A little over a year ago, I had an epiphany (following a suggestion by my family) that I should give some attention to athleticism other than dance. I joined Chapman High School’s Track and Field and Cross-Country teams, which turned out to be a lot of fun, and helpful in enhancing dancing skills. Since I was the MVP for both teams, my family allowed me to return to tap dancing.

Gabe Turner

From Gabe Turner, pianist, son of Tommy and Connie Turner:   I have studied piano for 11 years – under Charlie Hopper for seven years, and Dr. Cynthia Swicegood for four years.  This coming fall, I shall attend the University of South Carolina at Columbia, where I plan to major in music education.  I hope to foster children’s natural inclination to the beautiful through music, as I hold that the most important musical activity is that of sharing it with and inspiring others. In addition to the piano, I am very interested in early music, and have had experience composing in the Baroque spirit and playing some historical keyboard instruments.   I enjoy composing pieces for friends who sing or play other instruments.  Recently, I composed pieces for the viola and a piece for saxophone and piano.  Also, I greatly enjoy philosophy for I am an inveterate asker of questions, and I especially love to inquire about the nature and purpose of music with others.

Kate Riedy

From Kate Riedy who studies voice and labels herself a soprano, though she has been asked to sing alto, mezzo, and even tenor:  I am the grateful daughter of John and Christine Riedy, as well as the proud sibling of Maggie and Jamie. I am a senior at Converse College with a Musical Theatre and Early Childhood Education double major and a music minor. I have studied with several voice teachers, but principally with Mary Meyers. I have always loved Victor Hugo’s quote, “Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” The way music expresses a deeper, fuller emotion is what drew me to music and has convinced me to pursue it as a career. Besides my interest in music, I am an amateur pie maker and love anything that involves sugar. In addition to this, my theatre-immersed childhood has resulted in my constant quoting of Shakespeare, Sondheim, and Spielberg.

Accompanists for the singers will be Pam McNeil and Gabe Turner.

Tickets are $25 each, include a wine and cheese reception and may be purchased from music club members or at The Book Shelf in Tryon.  All proceeds benefit the Young Musicians Scholarship Program of the FMC.

– article submitted by Jeanette Shackelford