Morristown Teen Earns Wind Symphony Scholarship

The Hanover Wind Symphony has presented its second annual Summer Music Camp Scholarship to 17-year-old Claire Oplinger, of Morristown, an outstanding flutist.
She will attend the Boston University Tanglewood Flute Institute this summer and will give a solo performance with the Hanover Wind Symphony in the fall. She will enter her senior year at Morristown High School in September.
Gail Lalk, of Morristown, chair of the Hanover Wind Symphony Scholarship Committee, said the scholarship was designed to give young musicians an opportunity to bolster their skills.
“While all of the judges agreed that Claire is an extremely talented musician, this was not the only reason she was awarded the scholarship,’’ she said. “It was clear from her interview that she has a dynamic personality that our audience will appreciate, and she has a very personal connection to her music. She seeks to convey an emotional story when she plays her flute and she does that very well. We are looking forward to working with Claire in the fall and I expect
her performance will be a huge success.”
William Trusheim, of West Milford, president of the Hanover Wind Symphony, said: “In the audition, Claire gave a very polished performance, which was impressive not only for her technical command, but also for the musicality of her playing. Once again, we have found a young instrumentalist with talent and ability far beyond her years. We are all looking forward to working with her in the fall in anticipation of her solo performance with the Hanover Wind
Symphony in our October concert at Memorial Junior School in Whippany. We are all so pleased that the HWS scholarship program has produced two winners with such a high level of musical ability.
Oplinger, who plays both flute and piccolo, has auditioned for and been accepted into many of New Jersey’s honor bands, including the New Jersey All State Symphonic Band (2018); the North Jersey Area Band Wind Ensemble, first piccolo (2017–2018); and the Region I Wind Ensemble, third chair flute (2018). She was chosen to attend Oberlin Conservatory’s Summer Flute Academy in 2017, where she studied with Alexa Still. She also plays with the Delbarton Abbey Orchestra, the Morristown High School Wind Ensemble, and has served as section leader for the past two years in the Morristown High School Marching Colonials. She was also a member of the Drew University Flute Orchestra in 2017.
“Claire is an extraordinary young lady,’’ said her private flute teacher, Nancy Shearer of Morris Township. “She is thoughtful and organized about her approach to the music she is working on.
She performs in my annual flute recitals and continually challenges herself by selecting and performing more difficult pieces with which she has had great success. She is an extremely expressive and sensitive musician, and she is a joy to teach.”
In reflecting on her connection to music, Claire said: “I am passionate about music because I believe it is relevant and necessary to every aspect of human life. Music, to me, is more than just an entertainment or a hobby. It is a way of healing brokenness and connecting with people on a deep, emotional level. It is a vessel to universally express both the profoundest sorrows and truest joys of human emotion. This is why music matters to me.”

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