Senior year in high school is something most will remember for the rest of their lives. But, for the graduating class of 2020, these times will be remembered much differently.
As a way to recognize our music seniors, we created the 2020 Music Senior Showcase Gallery – an online portal honoring their achievements and artistry. Several students submitted videos, audio performances, and other creative works, and we wanted to share their artistry with you!
Click below to enjoy the work of our talented students.. the Music Class of 2020!
Xia Bowens, Saxophone
Xia Bowens is a 17 year old native of Greenville, South Carolina. Currently, she is a Senior at the Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities where she studies Classical Saxophone with Dr. Kyra Zhang. She is a former student of Mr. Joshua Tillman and Mr. Lee Scott. Xia is a member of the Governor’s School Wind Ensemble, Jazz Orchestra, and Chamber groups. Xia was also a part of the Multi-Cultural Club, C.A.T.S club and many other on-campus activities. While at the Governor’s School, Xia debuted "Xia Shari Music", her music business. She was employed at Greenwood High School to serve the Front/Battery instructor for the 2018-19 season. She serves as a saxophone tutor for Lead Academy Charter School, where she also was a guest conductor. She has been invited to play at local weddings, Gala’s, and Historic events around Greenville. Her accolades include playing at Blues Boulevard Jazz Club, and being invited to play at Carnegie Hall. To continue her studies, Xia plans to attend Claflin University to major in Music Education and minor in Psychology.
Watch Xia perform here:
- Kayla Moses, Flute
Kayla Moses is a native of Florence, South Carolina, and has been playing the flute since 6th grade. Since 2018, Kayla has attended the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities, where they studied flute with Caroline Ulrich. At SCGSAH they served as Senior Class Vice President, Co-President of the Feminist Club, Co-Editor of the yearbook, PR Officer for the Wind Ensemble, and was inducted into the National Honor Society. Kayla has participated in various ensembles including the District and Region 5 Honor Bands, Florence Youth Symphony Orchestra, Greenville County Young Artist Orchestra, and Greenville First Presbyterian’s Chamber Orchestra. They have performed in various counties and masterclasses throughout the state and the world, participating in the South Carolina Governor’s School’s Performance Tour in Germany in the cities of Leipzig, Dresden, and Berlin. Kayla has participated in masterclasses with Angela Massey, Andrew Parker, and Ensemble 4.1. They have recently participated in the Music Teachers National Association Competition in Newberry, South Carolina, and received an Honorable Mention. Kayla plans to attend Furman University this fall, where they will major in Music Education and study with Cynthia Hopkins, while pursuing a minor in Linguistics.
- Sydney Stevens, Oboe
Oboist Sydney Stevens is currently a senior at the Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities where she studies with Petrea Warneck and is a member of the Wind Ensemble, Sinfonia Orchestra, and Woodwind Trio. She originally began studying oboe in 2011 under the direction of Dr. Kelly Vaneman. Before coming to the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, she went to James F. Byrnes Highschool. While attending Byrnes, Sydney participated in the marching and honors symphonic bands and participated in the South Carolina region band. In 2017, she became a drum major for the Rebel Regiment marching band and participated in the Converse College wind ensemble. Sydney plans to attend Converse College for music therapy in the fall of 2020.
- Caroline Walker, Clarinet
Clarinetist Caroline Walker currently studies at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities under Dr. Kyra Zhang. Throughout her music career, Caroline has participated in region and all state clinics, as well as community bands like the Savannah Winds and Low Country Community Band. In the 2019 State Woodwind Division of the Music Teachers National Association, Caroline received an Honorable Mention. Prior to coming to the Governor’s School, Caroline studied with Christina Randall. In her free time, Caroline enjoys learning foreign languages like French and Swedish. Next year at college she plans on majoring in American Sign Language at Maryville College.
- Maria Cooper, Trumpet
Maria Cooper began playing the trumpet at the age of eleven. Over the years she has enjoyed participating in several ensembles such as the J.L. Mann Marching Band, Greenville County Youth Orchestra, and South Carolina’s Region and County ensembles. Maria was accepted into the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities as a sophomore in 2017, and has enjoyed extensive instruction from her private teacher, Dr. Gary Malvern. During her senior year, Maria has served as SCGSAH’s Wind Ensemble President, and competed in the Music Teachers National Association Senior Brass Competition. This coming fall, Maria intends to pursue degrees in both psychology and trumpet performance.
- Violet Cromer, Trumpet
Violet Cromer began playing trumpet at the age of fifteen after watching her high school’s jazz band perform. After the performance she saw so many smiling faces and became entranced by the joy that performance could bring an audience. Violet came to the Governor’s School as a first year senior and has been studying under Dr. Gary Malvern. In the future, she hopes to continue growing in music to help spread joy and bring people together all around the world.
- Connor Gregory, Trumpet
Connor Gregory has been playing trumpet since 5th grade, attended James F. Byrnes high school in 9th and 10th grade, and was in the Byrnes marching band from 8th grade until 10th grade. He is a former student of Phillip Carr. Connor began attending the Governor's School in 11th grade and currently studies with Dr. Gary Malvern. Connor has placed into the SCBDA All-State Band three times, played in the Carolina Youth Symphony for two years, Greenville County Youth Orchestra for one, and attended summer camps including the Furman Jazz Camp, the Furman Band and Orchestra Camp, the University of South Carolina Summer Conservatory, and the Oberlin Trumpet Workshop. He is attending Furman University in the fall and plans to receive a Bachelor of Arts in Trumpet and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies.
About Connor's creative submission: This is not a performance, as a performance had been planned before schools were closed. This is Connor's first and only piano sonata, written mostly in February. The first movement follows sonata form, and the second and third movements are connected by an attacca.
View his score here:
- Zeek McKinley, Trombone
Zeek McKinley has been playing trombone since sixth grade and has been studying classically for two years. He was accepted into the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities to attend his junior year and is completing his second and final year. He studies trombone with Dr. David Hamilton. Zeek is a part of the Greenville County Youth Orchestra and the First Presbyterian Orchestra performing as principal and assistant principal trombonist. Zeek has also studied with trombonists of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Greenville Symphony Orchestra. Zeek plans to continue studying classical music performance and emphasis in chamber music while building his virtual music school.
- Hailey Pfeiffer, Trombone
Hailey Pfeiffer began playing trombone at the age of 9 in Hillsborough, New Jersey. She was accepted to SCGSAH in 2017. She has studied with Mr. Bruce Clark and Mr. Kevin Shealy and currently studies with Dr. David Hamilton. In February of 2019, Hailey participated in the Honors Performance Series where she was given the opportunity to perform at Carnegie Hall. Soon after, she participated in the Vanderbilt Orchestral Intensive. Hailey will attend Vanderbilt University in the Fall and plans on pursuing a double major in Trombone Performance and Psychology.
Watch Hailey perform here:
- José Clemente Licón López
Born in Santiago de Querétaro, México, Clemente has moved a total of five times, ranging from places like Cincinnati, Ohio, to Lima, Peru. He started learning music when he was nine, beginning with both classical and flamenco guitar in Peru. In South Carolina, Clemente picked up percussion when he was twelve. Around that time he grew interested in composing and arranging, and has since composed for groups of percussion and/or flamenco guitar. He will most likely attend Pratt Institute in NYC, majoring in architecture, but intends to keep composing. Clemente studies percussion with Mr. Everett Beale.
- Emma Norrell
A native of Lancaster, South Carolina, Emma Norrell began playing percussion and drumset at the age of eleven. She currently studies with Mr. Everett Beale at SCGSAH. Along with being a percussion student at SCGSAH since the Fall of 2019, she has enjoyed a variety of musical experiences, including performing in Charlotte and the upstate, performing in a music video mentioned on NPR, and volunteering at Lancaster county arts camps and Girls Rock Columbia. In her free time, she enjoys practicing and learning about different percussion instruments. Emma plans to study music performance, beginning this Fall, and pursue a touring career on the drumset.
- Hunter Sweatt
Hunter Sweatt has been playing percussion since the sixth grade. He was captivated by the works of Keiko Abe. Hunter currently studies with Everett Beale at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities. Hunter wants to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Percussion Performance in the fall of 2020. Hunter is the principal percussionist in the Greenville County Youth Orchestra. You usually find him in the courtyard talking about whatever trend he found recently.
- Emma Devine
Emma Devine is from Simpsonville, SC, and began her career at SCGSAH in 2017 as an Instrumental Early Admissions student in piano, studying with Dr. Stephen Taylor. She is a former student of Gary Mudre. In addition to solo playing, Emma has participated in many ensembles, including Concertato String Orchestra, Governor’s School Choir, Senior Dance Showcase, and Artists in Bloom. She has had the opportunity to perform in masterclasses for artists Angie Zhang, Yun-Chin Zhou, and Drew Peterson. Emma has also competed and placed in several local scholarship competitions, including the Laurence Hamilton Morton Piano Scholarship, the inaugural W. Darr Wise Piano Competition, and the Music Clubs of Greenville Somerville scholarship. She has attended summer institutes at Furman University, the Eastman School of Music, and Brevard Music Center. In addition to the piano, Emma has also studied the pipe organ and sacred music with Arlen Clarke for four years. When she is not practicing, she enjoys reading, making people laugh, and spending time with her nine siblings. In the fall, she plans to study Piano/Organ Performance and Biology at the University of South Carolina Honors College on a full scholarship.
Watch Emma perform here:
- Bryan Fields
Bryan Fields, hailing from Myrtle Beach, began playing piano at the age of ten. As a former student of Renee Jackson and Linda Gebelein, he currently studies with Dr. Stephen Taylor at SCGSAH. He is an avid supporter of not only classical music, but also jazz, and plays in the jazz orchestra. He has had an active experience at SCGSAH, participating in multiple competitions and ensembles, and visiting other regions in South Carolina for master classes. Bryan was accepted into the 2020 Brevard Summer Music Program and will attend Furman University for piano performance in the fall.
Watch Bryan perform here:
- Sabrina Mao
Sabrina Mao is from Rock Hill, South Carolina and has been studying the piano for 10 years. Before studying with Stephen Taylor and Kristen Ironside, she was taking piano lessons from Anne Herlong and Lannia Broñola-dickert at Winthrop University. She’s participated in multiple Honors Recitals as a part of Winthrop’s Junior Piano Festival Competition and received first place in 2013. For the last three years she’s been studying piano at SCGSAH and collaborating with the music department in their chamber and choral concerts. Outside of practicing piano, Sabrina enjoys going on coffee and boba tea dates with her friends. After high school, Sabrina plans to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Cognitive Science with a minor in Music at the University of California at San Diego. She hopes to explore the realm of interactive design while also still putting in hours at the piano.
Watch Sabrina perform here:
- Tommy O'Malley
Tommy O'Malley has been studying the piano for eight years, currently with Dr. Stephen Taylor. He is a former student of Ms. Gwen Greenwalt. Recent accomplishments include acceptances to the Brevard Music Center and Eastman School of Music summer programs, as well as an appearance at the Piccolo Spoleto Rising Stars festival. While at the Governor’s School he has had the opportunity to perform in masterclasses for pianists including George Li, Drew Peterson, and Yun-Chin Zhou. This fall he plans to study under Dr. John Salmon at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, majoring in piano performance.
Watch Tommy perform here:
- Jessica Schaefer
Jessica Schaefer is from Central, South Carolina and began playing piano when she was five years old. She is a former student of Dana Swarner. At SCGSAH, she studied with Dr. Stephen Taylor and participated in masterclasses with pianists Drew Petersen, Do-Hyun Kim, and more. In addition to taking private lessons, she performed with the SCGSAH Wind Ensemble and was a student conductor for the Governor's School Choir. In the fall, she will attend the Sunderman Conservatory of Music at Gettysburg College and double major in music and environmental studies.
Watch Jessica perform here:
- Mia Bailey, Viola
Mia Bailey is a violist from Easley, SC. Her viola studies began in 2012 when she chose to join the orchestra program in elementary school. Since then, Mia has been involved in the SC Music Educators Association All County, Region, and State orchestras. In June and July of 2019, she was a participant of the Sewanee Summer Music festival where she was the principal violist of the high school orchestra under Maestra Janna Hymes. Mia is a graduate of SCGSAH where she studied with Katie Dey. She is a former student of Nancy Molleson. Later this fall, she plans to attend the University of South Carolina to continue her viola studies and major in music education with an emphasis on strings.
Watch Mia perform here:
- Benjamin Brooks, Violin
Violinist Benjamin Brooks grew up in a musical family and fell in love with the violin at a young age. He has studied violin under the direction of Mary Irwin and Jennifer John, and studied with Deirdre Hutton at the Governor’s School. Benjamin has had the privilege of attending festivals such as the Indiana University Summer Strings Academy, David Kim’s Orchestral Institute, Brevard Music Center, and the ECU Chamber Music Institute, among others. Benjamin served as concertmaster of GCYO's Young Artist Orchestra for two years during his time at SCGSAH. In January 2019, Benjamin was honored as the first recipient of the Mary Ada Poole Award for his outstanding leadership and musicianship in the Piedmont Chamber Orchestra. When he isn’t practicing, he enjoys listening to music, drinking coffee, and hanging out with friends. In the fall of 2020, Benjamin will pursue his bachelor's degree in Violin Performance at East Carolina University studying with Ara Gregorian and Hye-Jin Kim.
- Christina Brown, Violin
Eighteen year old Christina Brown has studied violin for the last 7 years. Her path began with instruction from Katy Martin and Joanna Mulfinger and later attended the Fine Arts Center for chamber music. Christina later auditioned for and was accepted into the SCGSAH music program where she studied with Jennifer John and most recently Deirdre Hutton.
Christina has traveled to Baltimore, San Antonio, and Detroit to represent the Greenville Chapter as an NAACP ACT-SO competitor nationally, where she has placed twice. She is active in the Greenville community and enjoys playing for nursing homes, churches, and charity events. Christina has had multiple opportunities to play at the Peace Center for the Performing Arts including soloing with the poet Glenis Redmond, and performing as a member of the Greenville County Young Artists Orchestra. Christina is an only child, and is thankful for the strong, unwavering support from her parents, Barbara and Phillip Brown.
Other than music, she enjoys spending time reading and hanging out with family and friends. Christina believes that her music is her “smile” on the world and wants to share it with all. Her dream is to become a music teacher and performer where she hopes to “spark” a musical passion in others. Christina is excited to attend the University of South Carolina in the Fall, where she will be studying with Dr. Ari Streisfeld while pursuing a BM in Music Education.
- Charles Logan Durham, Cello
Charles Logan Durham is from Easley, SC. He has been playing cello since 2010. His former teachers include Robin Davis and Laura Koelle. His current teacher is Robert O’Brien. He recently studied the baroque cello alongside the modern cello. Logan has been a member of the Carolina Youth Symphony in the Symphony Orchestra for the past 3 years. In 2019 he was able to go with the Symphony to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City. He has also played with the Toccoa Symphony Orchestra. In the fall, Logan will attend Clemson University to major in Computer Science and minor in Music.
Watch Logan perform here: https://bit.ly/2LyXJKx
- Julia Jacobsen, Violin
Julia Jacobsen, a resident of Greenville, South Carolina will be attending the University of South Carolina this Fall as a member of the Honors College and the School of Music, studying Violin Performance under Dr. Ari Streisfeld. She has previously studied with Deirdre Hutton, Jennifer John, and Michele Tate. Since beginning the violin seven years ago, Julia has developed a love for the instrument and deep dedication to honing her craft. She has attended summer festivals such as the National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute, Interlochen Violin Institute, and the Piccolo Spoleto Rising Stars series. Julia has performed at venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and the Thomaskirche in Leipzig. She has been a member of South Carolina’s All State and Region Orchestras, the Carolina Youth Symphony, and the Greenville County Youth Orchestras (GCYO).
Watch Julia perform here:
- Preston Lee, Cello
Preston Lee is a senior cellist who has been playing since he was eleven years old. Preston attends the Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities where he is in residence and studies with Mr. Robert O’Brien. He started attending the Governor’s School in 2017 as a sophomore. He has played in many orchestras including the Carolina Youth Symphony, The Piedmont Chamber Orchestra, and the Governor’s School Concertato String Orchestra. Preston has attended many summer camps as well, including the Cannon Music camp and the East Carolina Summer Chamber camp. Preston plans to study Biology in college and minor in Music but has not decided where he wants to attend.
- Stephanie Miller, Viola
Stephanie Miller is a native of Spartanburg, South Carolina. She started playing viola in fifth grade, but her interest really sparked in middle school which led her to attend summer programs at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities. From that moment forward Stephanie continued her love for music at the residential high school where she studied with Kathryn Dey. In the fall she plans to major in Music Education and minor in Spanish. She hopes to teach a middle school orchestra and start an organization that supports minority string players.
- Brendan Yarem, Cello
Brendan Yarem began playing cello when he was thirteen years old. He currently studies with Robert O’Brien at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities and is a former student of Dr. Brenda Leonard. Brendan has participated in the Greenville County Youth Orchestra’s Young Artists Orchestra since 2017, and qualified for the South Carolina Music Educators Association All-State Orchestra in 2016 and 2017. In addition to being a dedicated cellist, Brendan is also an avid composer. He attended the Boston Conservatory at Berklee High School Composition Intensive in the summer of 2019 and recently won first place in the state of South Carolina for the South Carolina Federation of Music Clubs (SCFMC) Junior Composer Contest. Brendan will be attending Berklee College of Music where he intends to study cello, music composition, and film scoring.
- Hope Zinkann, Violin
Hope Zinkann is a senior violin student of Mrs. Deirdre Hutton at the SC Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities. She is a former student of Kathryn McLean, Catherine Crowe, and Jennifer John. She has performed in many ensembles in her 10 years of playing including the Greenville County Youth Orchestra where she was Concertmistress from 2014-2018. Hope has also performed in Habitat for Humanities Annual Ruby Slipper Event since she was 11 years old. She loves to travel and her dream is to perform on cruise ships while traveling the world. She is going to major in music education in the coming school year and will eventually start her own violin studio. She will be attending USC in the fall majoring in music education.
- Sarah Delanuéz
Sarah Delanuéz was born in Miami, Florida and moved to Greenville, South Carolina at the age of seven. From grades 6-10, she played cello (5 years) but then decided to focus on singing. She attended the SCGSAH Discovery program prior to the Residential high school. She currently studies with Dr. Landon Baumgard, Mr. Thomas Dickinson, and Dr. David Rhyne. Sarah is a proud Latina (Hondureña) who is fluent in Spanish and strives to learn other languages. She will be attending North Greenville University majoring in vocal performance. Her dream is to be able to travel the world performing and learning different languages and cultures in the process.
Watch Sarah perform here:
- Jonathan Gragg
Jonathan Gragg will be attending College of Charleston this fall to study music. In his high school years, he was part of many auditioned ensembles and competitions including All State Choir and NATS. His former teachers include Tom Brunson and Heather Wilcox, and he currently studies with Thomas Dickinson, Dr. Landon Baumgard, and Dr. David Rhyne. Jonathan hopes to continue performing, but also explore ties between music and other disciplines.
- Libby Hamilton
Libby Hamilton is from Summerville, SC, and has loved vocal music since the fourth grade. Prior to attending the Governor’s School, her teachers were Pamela Brunson and Maurice Burgess. Libby was fortunate to be able to attend a competitive middle school of the arts; was a member of the SC Honor Choir for four years; and attended SCGSAH's Academy and residential programs for voice. She was also a member of Dr. Rhyne's conducting class, and got a chance to teach Cantus a piece during the second semester.
Academically, Libby is a Palmetto Fellows scholar, and an AP scholar with distinction. She will be attending Furman University in the fall, and plans to double major in vocal performance and German.
Watch Libby perform here:
- Katie Matsui
Katie Matsui grew up in Lexington, South Carolina. She has had a passion for music and the arts since she was a toddler, dancing in the back seat. Katie began singing as a member of the youth choir at her church, and attended summer courses as part of a choir affiliated with the Royal School of Church Music. Katie also sang in a youth community choir called the Young Sandlapper singers for many years. Through middle and high school, Katie was an active member in school choirs and honors level auditioned ensembles at school. While in middle school, Katie began private voice lessons with Dr. Michael Brown, and attended both of the SCGSAH summer programs (Academy and Discovery). These summer programs were instrumental in Katie's discovery of her own love for both performing and music history. In 2018, Katie was accepted into the Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities where she continued her studies under the direction of the music staff there. Katie plans on continuing her musical studies at the College of Charleston, where she will be pursuing a major in Vocal Performance.
- Adam Meyer
Adam Meyer has been singing, playing guitar and piano, and writing songs since the age of four. At his core, he is a vocalist who loves singing and really wants to enjoy life. In 2019, he became a first year senior at the Governor's School and credits instructors Tom Dickinson, Landon Baumgard, and David Rhyne for helping him grow. This fall, Adam will attend Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. He will pursue a songwriting degree, with a possible minor in music business.
- Vaughn Nesmith
Vaughn Nesmith was raised in Williamsburg County, where he also attended school until his time at SCGSAH. He discovered his love for music and singing while growing up in church. After being introduced to SCGSAH, he became fond of the classical genre and its mystery. Vaughn plans to attend Boston Conservatory at Berklee this upcoming fall, majoring in Vocal Performance. He plans to have a career as an opera singer and recitalist. He plans to one day initiate his own residential high school for the arts, giving less fortunate children, like himself, the opportunity to hone their craft and do what they love.
- Raekwon Scott
Raekwon Scott is from Columbia, SC. He attended the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities Discovery program in 2016. He became a residential high school student in 2018. He currently studies with Dr. Landon Baumgard and Mr. Thomas Dickinson. He will be attending Coastal Carolina University, where he will be pursuing a BA in Vocal Performance. He is striving to be a classical recitalist, as well as an opera singer.
- Amos Wise
Amos C. Wise, IV is native to North, SC. He attended SCGSAH in 2019 as a first year senior and will begin his undergraduate studies this fall at Coastal Carolina University, majoring in Music Studies. Amos has been performing with his gift of song since the age of three. He is a former student of Christopher Gladman and currently studies with Thomas Dickinson, Landon Baumgard, Walter Hundt, and David Rhyne. Amos writes and performs original material as well as Classical, Gospel, Latin, and contemporary pieces. During his time at SCGSAH, Amos discovered his love for dance and theatre, and was placed into a second-year dance class. Amos plans to pursue his dreams in musical theatre, while also quenching his thirst for entertainment law. Amos feels the Governor's School was the "open door" that faith helped walk him through. From this school has gained many life lessons and memories.
Watch Amos perform here:
- James Wong
James Wong is from Florence, South Carolina and prior to coming to SCGSAH, he attended Wilson High School. He is a former student of Megerlyn Davis. James started studying music at the age of 4 with the violin, and picked up singing at the age of 10 with his school choir. At the end of seventh grade, he stopped taking violin lessons to focus on singing in show choir and theatre. James was a part of the TTBB All-State choir in 2018. He has been in multiple productions with his community theatre, Florence Little Theatre, and his favorite production has been Legally Blonde. He will be attending the University of Utah for a BFA in Musical Theatre and plans on being a Broadway performer, and maybe do a little bit of jazz in little cafes or fancy clubs such as 54 Below. He plans to live in New York City with lots of cats in his New York apartment. He would like to thank SCGSAH, his voice studio, Dr. Baumgard, Mr. Dickinson, and Dr. Rhyne, for everything they have done in guiding him and giving him the life lessons and skills needed to pursue his artistic journey. His favorite quote to live by is from the musical, Little Women: "I may be small, but I've got giant plans: to shine as brightly as the sun." - Mindi Dickstein
Watch James perform here:
- Delaney Yurco
Delaney Yurco watched High School Musical once, and it all went downhill from there. She has studied with Thomas Dickinson, Landon Baumgard, Bill and Betsy Peterson, and Captain Jack Sparrow.
Watch Delaney's creative submission here: