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Conard Student Wins Musical Club of Hartford High School Competition

Maggie Slap, a sophomore at Conard High School in West Hartford, won first place in the Musical Club of Hartford's high school competition. Photo courtesy of the Slap family

Twelve area teens, including three from West Hartford, won classical music performance prizes from the Musical Club of Hartford.

By Ronni Newton

The Musical Club of Hartford announced that West Hartford resident and Conard High School sophomore Maggie Slap is a first-place winner in the string competition of the high school competition held Jan. 4 and 5.

She will join other winners performing in the Musical Club of Hartford’s annual concert on Sunday, Jan. 19 at 2 p.m., at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 2080 Boulevard, West Hartford.  The concert is free and open to the public.

In the competition, Slap, a cellist who studies under Jeffrey Krieger, performed “Song of the Birds,” a Catalan song popularized by Pablo Casals.

Christopher Hill, also a sophomore at Conard and a cellist, took second place in the strings competition.

Hill, who studies under Black Brasch of the Hartt Community Division, was accompanied by Alexis Zingale, performed “Fantasicstucke, Opus 73, Movements One and Three” by Robert Schumann.

Hall junior Delaney Fox, a soprano who studies under Lisabeth Miller, won third place in the voice competition.

Fox performed “Sonntag, Op.47, #3” by Johannes Brahms; Recitative: “Oh Worse Than Death Indeed” and Aria: “Augers, Ever Bright and Fair” from “Theodora,”HWV 68, by G.F. Handel, accompanied by Frank Viola.

Slap recently served as principal cellist of the 2019 Connecticut Northern Regionals Orchestra and second chair in the All-State orchestra.

In her bio, she noted that her most important performing experiences and awards include: “winning the 2018 Young Musicians Concerto Competition with the Hamden Symphony Orchestra; acceptance into both i Giovanni Solisti and the West Hartford Symphony Orchestra; attending both Kinhaven and Greenwood music camps; receiving the Sedgwick Middle School First String Award; playing with The Sixteen Strings quartet through the Hartt School Community Division; winner of the 2019 Honors Chamber Music Competition; and participating with my quartet in a masterclass with the Lionsgate Trio.”  

Hill is also a member of the select West Hartford high school Chamber Orchestra i Giovanni Solisti, which under the direction of Emmett Drake, and plays in the Connecticut Youth Symphony. He has participated in numerous masterclasses and recitals, most recently with Joshua Roman.

According to Hill’s bio, last summer he studied with Susan Moses at Indiana University’s Summer String Academy, and has previously attended the international Cello Institute at St. Olaf College in Minnesota as well as the Advanced Cello Suzuki Institute at Ithaca College in New York.

Fox is a soprano with the Hall High School select choral group, The Choraliers, and is also a cellist with Hall’s select group, Camerata.

According to her bio, she also has sung in Northern Regionals and All-State Choirs, and will perform again this winter with the Regionals choir. Last summer she attended the New York University Classical Voice intensive program, and is a member of the choir at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in West Hartford.

The 12 winners of first, second, and third place prizes in the categories of voice, strings, winds, and piano will perform in the Jan. 19 concert, which is free and open to the public.

The Musical Club of Hartford’s competition is held annually, and is open to Connecticut-based high school students in grades 9-12.

This year’s judges were Cara Cheung and Richard Loomis (strings), Ryan Burns and Meredith Ziegler (voice), Paul Bisaccia and Gina Nedderman (piano), and Louis Hanzlik and Vu Nguyen (winds).

In addition to winners from West Hartford, other winners were from Avon, Broad Brook, Cross River (NY), East Lyme, Fairfield, Ledyard, New Milford, Pine Meadow, and Ridgefield.

The following West Hartford students also received honorable mention in the competition:

  • Isabelle-Marie Anis, violin, a sophomore at Hall High School who studies with Professor Wendy Sharp
  • Samantha Kramer, violin, a sophomore student at Conard High School who studies with Teri Einfeldt
  • Sophia Cornicello (piano), a sophomore at Hall High School who studies with Elaine Silbereis.

More information can be found at www.musicalclubhartford.org.

About the Musical Club of Hartford

The Musical Club of Hartford is a volunteer organization in its 129th year of programming and presenting music to Greater Hartford community.  The mission of the Musical Club of Hartford is to develop the musical talents of its members and to encourage the study and appreciation of music through programs, lectures, competitions, and concerts for members and the general public.

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