For the last scheduled Zoom gatherings, Mr. and Mrs. Rhein invited several alumni of the Messalonskee Chorus to chat with their current students about how music has continued to be an integral part of their lives since graduation.
The first invited guest was Ryan Brown, who is now pursuing a Doctorate in Choral Conducting in California. Particularly fascinating was his impressive performance career with outstanding American choral groups.
The next week followed with a delightful visit with the Rhein’s daughter, Nia, and her husband, Dr. Andrew Passmore in England. The students were interested in his achievement in attaining a Doctorate of Harpsichord Studies while his wife held a master’s degree in Early Music and another in Creative Writing.
The final Zoom Gathering included three alumni from different years. Shea Ellis told us of his performing “on the road” for many years that led him to his current occupation as owner of a music studio in southern Maine. Chelsea Tyler recounted her amazing experiences with singing in college and community choirs. Those experiences included a trip to Spain and performances in Boston. The highlight of those choral experiences was backing up the world-famous tenor, Andrea Boccelli!
Finally, Anna Schwartzberg joined the conversation as an alumna now involved in scientific research in the Boston area. Anna writes:“I really enjoyed chatting with your choir and the other MHS alumni, and feel honored to be invited as a guest speaker. Music has been and always will be a significant part of my life, so chatting about how it has impacted me starting at MHS wasn’t a difficult task at all.”
Many students commented that hearing the stories of these wonderful Messalonskee alumni encouraged them to pursue their passions while in high school and in the years to come. The pandemic definitely put a speed bump in the road of education, but wonderful things continued to happen using the technology that could bring our music community together.