The Suzanne and Charles Wells
The Handel Week Festival Board of Directors in 2008 established the Suzanne and Charles Wells Choral Scholarship for high school students, in honor of Handel Week Festival founder Charles Chauncey Wells and his wife Suzanne.
Under the direction of Dr. Dennis Northway, the recipient of the Wells Choral Scholarship will get an insider’s perspective on the life of a professional musician, joining the critically acclaimed Handel Week ensemble for rehearsals and the performance of a single masterwork by George Frideric Handel during the Handel Week Festival. ”This scholarship is a fantastic way both to express our gratitude to one of our organization’s founders and to recognize the talented young musicians in our community who are the future of classical music,” said Northway. The Handel Week Festival is committed to the nuturing of young classical music vocalists.
To be eligible for the scholarship competition, candidates must be in their sophomore, junior or senior year in high school, recommended by their choral director, music teacher or another professional musician and be in good academic standing. Candidates should have also basic musical skills, such as the ability to sightread, and have some experience in choral singing. Further information will be provided prior to the audition.
Scholarship rules and application form are available here.
Cassandra Coglianese, a senior at Riverside-Brookfield High School, and James Marelli, a student at Hinsdale South High School, joined the 2008 Handel Week Festival Chorus and Orchestra for rehearsals and the performance of Handel's exquisite Anthem for the Funeral of Queen Caroline.
"Although we originally intended to offer only one scholarship, both of these musicians demonstrated such a high level of musicianship that we felt they both deserved to win," said Dennis Northway, Handel Week's artistic director.
Adam Gruber, a native of Arlington Heights, Illinois, was honored as the 2008 Wells Choral Scholar for the Handel Week Festival. He was also named an E. Power Biggs Fellow of the Organ Historical Society. He has performed on the live broadcast of �Introductions� on the Chicago radio station, WFMT.
Mr. Gruber, a student of Dennis Northway of Chicago, has been playing piano and organ since the age of eight. He has also studied theater organ with Jelani Eddington and John Ferguson. He has served as interim Parish Musician for St. Simons Episcopal Church in Arlington Heights.
Rachael Wilson is a senior at Oak Park River Forest High School. She was born in Rome, Italy. She was delighted to receive the Wells Choral Scholarship! Rachael loves classical singing and sings with the choir at school. This fall, she sang with the IMEA choir. Rachael has also played the role of Fantine in Les Miserables. She would like to thank the scholarship comittee as well as her parents, Barbara and Andrew, for their support.
Caitlin Emma Fallahay is a senior at Oak Park and River Forest School. Caitlin has been studying voice for eight years with University of Chicago music teacher, Mrs. Ellen Everson. She recently performed in the role of �Lola� in the OPRF High School Summer 2010 production of Damn Yankees.
She is the oboist for the OPRF High School Wind Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra. Caitlin would like to thank all the members of her family, extended family, Mrs. Everson and Dr. Northway for all of their support and encouragement.
James Wang attends Riverside-Brookfield High school. He sings baritone and performs in the madrigal singers group at RBHS. He performed four years with the Illinois Music Educators Assn. (IMEA) District Choir and was chosen for IMEA All-State Honors Choir in 2011. He also attended St. Olaf Choir Camp. James has played piano for ten years.
Kristin Tomecek is a junior at Riverside Brookfield High School. She has studied voice with Mrs. Erin Matonte for three years, and currently sings in the soprano section of RBs Madrigal Choir under the direction of Mrs. Diane Marellli. Kristin has sung with school choirs since fourth grade, has participated in IMEA (Illinois Music Education Association) and in 2012, she was the first place winner in her division in the Chicago Chapter of NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) Classical Competition. She has participated in many school musicals including the role of Marian Paroo in the Music Man. In addition to her singing experience, Kristin has played violin since first grade and has been a member of the West Suburban Youth Orchestra for six years. She also is a member of the RB tennis team and enjoys volunteering for a number of organizations including the Riverside Public Library, Chicago Food Depository and Misericordia.
Born in Costa Rica and resident of Dundee IL, Nick Foulk Voegeli (17) is a senior at The Chicago Academy for the Arts, in Chicago Illinois. He has been studying classical voice since his freshman year. He has competed and placed in multiple vocal competitions including IMEA, The Elgin Opera Competition, and NATS. He is also a member of the Grace Episcopal Church Madrigal Choir as well as the St. James Episcopal Church Choir. Besides singing, Nick plays piano, studies composition and film scoring, and records original songs. He plans to study classical voice performance next year.
Katie Barnhart, a senior, is actively involved in arranging vocal music for and performing with POP, Walter Payton’s extracurricular women’s a cappella chorus. She is currently a member of the Madrigal Choir at Grace Episcopal Church, where she has continued her exploration of choral music since she began singing as a chorister in the Schola Choir in 5th grade. She has traveled to China twice on full scholarships to study Chinese language and culture as well as renewable energy, and has participated on her school’s ACADEC and swim teams. She plans to sing choral music throughout her life, and will begin college this fall to study chemistry and physics.