CENTERBROOK — The selection committee for the Carolyn R. Greenleaf Memorial Fund of Community Music School (CMS) has chosen violinist, guitarist, and pianist Isabelle McDonald as the recipient of the Fall 2016 Carolyn R. Greenleaf Music Award. This award is given each semester to a middle or high school student who has demonstrated exceptional musical ability and motivation, and awards a semester of private lessons at Community Music School in Centerbrook. Isabelle has chosen to study piano with CMS’s new virtuoso piano instructor, Matthew Massaro.
Isabelle, who is a junior at Valley Regional High School, is an accomplished violin student having studied under numerous instructors, most recently under the tutelage of Kyung Yu of Yale University. She has also studied with Janet Boughton of Guilford, Connecticut and Lisa Gray at the CMS.
Isabelle has been a member of a number of leading youth orchestras in Connecticut, including the Norwalk Youth Symphony (NYS) for four years and the Greater Bridgeport Youth Orchestras for three years. For her final two years with NYS, she was the Principal Orchestra’s principal second violinist.
Isabelle has also performed in a number of chamber music ensembles, including the Chamber Music Institute for Young Musicians and with the NYS chamber music program. In addition to her study on the violin and piano, Isabelle has taken guitar lessons with John Birt at CMS. Along with Isabelle’s musical talent, she is also a talented visual art student, having won a number of juried art show awards. Isabelle has expressed a desire to continue her music and visual art studies in college.
The Carolyn R. Greenleaf Memorial Fund was established at the Community Foundation of Middlesex County in 2008 by her friends to honor Greenleaf’s dedication to music and education. The Carolyn Greenleaf Memorial Music Award is open to students of Middlesex County and the Lymes and is awarded twice a year. It is entirely based on merit and is the only such award at Community Music School.
Community Music School is an independent, nonprofit school which provides a full range of the finest possible instruction and musical opportunities to persons of all ages and abilities, increasing appreciation of music and encouraging a sense of joy in learning and performing, thus enriching the life of the community.
Community Foundation of Middlesex County is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in Middlesex County. Working with charitably-minded individuals and organizations to build permanent endowments since 1997, the Community Foundation has provided 850 grants totaling more than $2.5 million to organizations for the arts, cultural and heritage programs, educational activities, environmental improvements, and for health and human services.