Young musicians Abigail Kellems and Olivia Boughton have been selected as the Student Symphonic Fellows in the Andrew and Amy Vaughan Fellowship Program through the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra (WVSO). The students were selected following interviews and auditions before a community panel on Dec. 6, in Charleston.
Kellems, sophomore at Morgantown High School, studies piano, in addition to playing tuba, guitar or piano in the high school wind ensemble, advanced jazz ensemble, orchestra and marching band. She participates in church choir both as a singer and accompanist. At MHS she is involved in the Spanish Honor Society, Art Honorary Society, and Animal Welfare Club.
Boughton, senior and violist in the Capital High School orchestra program, plays in the West Virginia Youth Symphony and local chamber groups. She has successfully auditioned for positions within the WV All-State Orchestra and WVU Honors Orchestra. She is a former participant at the WV Governor’s School for the Arts, and last summer she was accepted at the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, NC. At Capital High School, she is also a member of the National Honor Society, Spanish Club and the Cougar tennis team.
As part of their Student Symphonic program activities, both Kellems and Boughton will sit on stage alongside WVSO musicians in different sections of the orchestra during rehearsals and meet renowned guest artists during the second half of the symphonic subscription series. They will conduct personal research about the music being performed by the WVSO.
Sponsored by Dr. Andrew and Amy Vaughan for 13 consecutive years, this program continues to develop and encourage West Virginia high school students in pursuing a career as professional musicians, educators, composers or conductors of the future. This monitored and time-intensive training program for serious music students remains a unique program among orchestras throughout North America.
Former Fellow Luke Frazier recently returned to the West Virginia Symphony to conduct Paul Bunyan & Friends, a family concert he wrote full of American folk song arrangements. Frazier is now the Principal Pops Conductor of the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra and guest conducts orchestras around the area. To this day, Frazier credits his initial inspiration to the Andrew and Amy Vaughan Fellowship Program.