ALUMNUS TO APPEAR AS GUEST CONDUCTOR FOR WC’S STRINGS FESTIVAL CONCERT
We are just two days away from 155 of WC’s talented student musicians displaying their skills in this year’s Strings Festival Concert. At 7:00 p.m. this Thursday evening (February 9) in the Grace Polaris Worship Center, all WC students who participate in the school’s strings program (including grades 3-12) will perform in this event. Featured performing groups will include the Warrior Orchestra, Prelude Orchestra, Presto Strings, Allegro Strings, and Andante Strings.
In conjunction with the school’s ongoing 50th Anniversary celebration, the concert’s combined Festival Orchestra will be directed this year by Warrior Alumnus Matthew Hawley. Hawley attended Worthington Christian School for ten years, graduating in the Class of 1994. His music teachers at WC included Connie Anderson and Mark Kinser (orchestra), Fred and Bob Bechtel (band), and Maryann Minnis (elementary music). He also played in the Grace Brethren Church Orchestra for many years under the instruction of Nancy Baier (cello) and directors Randy Kettering and Mary Jo Gaskalla. His fondest memories of those days were playing in the Living Christmas Trees and meeting his wife, Amy, in Mr. Bechtel’s band class. Since his time at WC, Hawley has developed an incredible career in the arts.
He completed three degrees from The Ohio State University, including a Bachelor of Music in Cello, a Bachelor of Music Education in Orchestra, and a Master of the Arts in Educational Policy and Leadership. He was also a member of the OSU Marching Band. He is currently in his 24th year as Director of Orchestras at Dr. Henry Karrer Middle School in Dublin, Ohio.
He is the founder and director of the Dublin Youth String Orchestra (DYSO), an ensemble comprised of youth from the Dublin area in grades 5-12. In 2017, DYSO received first prize in the National Orchestra Festival at the American String Teachers Association (ASTA) National Conference. Mr. Hawley’s ensembles have also appeared at the Ohio Music Education Association State Conference on four occasions.
Hawley has received The Golden Shamrock Award, a lifetime achievement award presented by the Dublin City Schools, the Ohio School Boards Association Outstanding Teacher Award, and the Dublin Community Champion Award. In addition, he has been nominated three times for the Columbus Symphony Orchestra Music Educator Award, and in 2010 was nominated for the Ohio Teacher of the Year Award.
The Strings Festival Concert is a unique time to see both Lower and Upper School students showcase their talents, and this one promises to be especially memorable as we celebrate the school’s 50th Anniversary. Parents, family members, and friends of the program are all encouraged to attend!