By Micki Ryan
Special to the Islands’ Weekly
Fourteen-year-old Gavin paused during baseball practice with his teammates at Lopez School on May 6. He saw his mother pull up and leap from the car waving for his attention. As he stared, Ellyn cupped her hands to her mouth and called across the field, “Gav! Marrowstone!” She then raised her arms to give him two thumbs up and a dazzling huge grin. All at once it hit hi. He was in.
The Marrowstone Music Festival, a program of the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras, is the premier orchestra training program of the Pacific Northwest. The intensive summer program features an internationally acclaimed faculty; members of the world’s most distinguished symphony orchestras, chamber ensembles, opera companies and conservatories. The musical gifts of this distinguished faculty are vividly reflected in their devotion to the training of the next generation of young artists. Competition to enter the summer program at Western Washington University is stiff, with musicians from age 13 to 25 from more than 30 states and several foreign countries competing by audition for 200 places.
For his audition, recorded by Lopezian tech expert Glen Maxson at Lopez Center, Gavin played a Bach invention, a Chopin prelude, one movement from a Mozart sonata, and an excerpt from a sonata of his own composition. In addition to writing of his own vision in his application, several letters of reference were provided including one from Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival Founder and Artistic Director Aloysia Friedmann. The result is what brought Ellyn Goodrich to the baseball field that day: a letter from Marrowstone coordinator Coltan Foster with congratulations on Gavin’s acceptance into the Pre-College Division of the 2014 season (ages 13 to 17), offering an incredible opportunity to accelerate his progress as a musician by studying with the world class faculty.
Foster added, “In joining us this summer you are adding to a legacy of incredible music making and lasting personal connections that will help shape the rest of your life.”
“I just got on the phone and called everybody I knew,” Gavin laughed, “Didn’t even give my name; just ‘Marrowstone! I’m in!’ I ran into my piano teacher Becky Johnson in the market, and we danced a jig together right there in the aisle.”
Friedmann certainly understands his excitement, noting “I also had the incredible opportunity to be a member of the Seattle Youth Symphony program. Attending the Marrowstone Music Festival training and performance for several summers was a critical part of my musical upbringing. Gavin will have a rich musical experience this summer, leaving a positive mark on his future in music. Congratulations to Gavin for being accepted!”
Now the prep really begins for Gavin. He must raise and submit the $2,570 tuition fee before June 15, with $600 submitted by May 29 as a deposit and initial expenses. To help raise the tuition fee, Gavin is offering a piano concert at Lopez Center on Saturday, May 24, at 7 p.m., by donation at the door. Thanks to generous underwriters concert revenue will be applied to his tuition and expenses. You may also give to Gavin’s tuition fund on-line, using the PayPal donate button on Gavin’s website and blog, http://gavingoodrichlopez.wordpress.com, or make a deposit to Islanders Bank Account “Gavin Goodrich Tuition” at the Lopez branch.
What’s in Gavin’s future? “Composition interests me very much,” he remarked, and is looking forward to classes in composition at Marrowstone and with Seattle composer/conductor Adam Stern mid-May. When asked what types of composition Gavin would like to pursue, in addition to the piano works he has already produced, the fourteen-year-old explained, “Well, right now I’m working on two new sonatas, a piano concerto, a symphony, a string quartet, an opera, and various chamber music pieces.”