Macy Willett, senior string bassist in the Ponca City High School Orchestra, has been accepted into the prestigious Brevard Music Center Summer Institute. On Sunday, April 23 at 2:00 p.m., Macy will be giving a senior string bass recital at St. Luke’s Church of the Nazarene, located at 1715 E. Prospect Avenue. The public is invited to attend. Macy will be accompanied on the piano by Connie Van Ausdall.
Situated on a 180-acre campus in western North Carolina, Brevard Music Center stands as one of this country’s premier summer training programs. Under the artistic direction of conductor Keith Lockhart, Music Director of the Boston Pops and the BBC Orchestra in London, more than 400 gifted students—ages 14 through post-college—come to the Music Center every summer to study with distinguished faculty and renowned guest artists. From June 22 through August 6, students participate in a rigorous program of instruction and performance, including orchestral ensembles, private lessons, music theory classes, music literature classes, chamber music, and opera.
The high school division of Brevard enrolls approximately 180 students, ages 14 to 18, each year. Students come from nearly every state and from around the world. Their backgrounds are different, but all are gifted and driven to musical excellence. Each student contributes to the unique community that is the hallmark of Brevard. The environment allows students to surpass themselves as musicians, and as artists. Participants learn by sitting with players from major symphonies, attending seminars with Grammy winning composers, working with master conductors and soloists, and attending nearly 80 performances each season. Applicants from all over the world submit applications. Only eight string basses are selected for the Brevard High School Division. Macy was one of the first bassists to receive an invitation this year.
Macy studies bass with Dr. George Speed at Oklahoma State University. She was a two-year member of the Oklahoma Music Educators Association All-State Orchestra and was recently named a recipient of the State Superintendent Award for Arts Excellence. She has earned superior ratings consistently on her solo and ensembles at OSSAA District and State Contests. Macy is a successful student in the Ponca City school system, having earned above a 4.00 grade point average due to Advanced Placement courses she has taken. She is the president of the Po-Hi Orchestra Council and sits principal chair bassist. On top of everything, she volunteered two hours of her day this year to aid and mentor the Ponca City West Middle School Orchestra students under the direction of Ms. Paula Cochran. Macy plans to attend Oklahoma State University next fall as a music major.
Macy has raised the necessary funds to attend the institute itself this summer. She needs assistance with traveling to and from North Carolina. Donations will be accepted at the recital to help with these expenses. Po-Hi orchestra director, Mr. Dan Larson, said that “Macy is an exceptional musician and leader. She has worked incredibly hard during her four years at Po-Hi, and her achievements are many. I am very proud of her accomplishments and would encourage the community to come out and hear this dedicated student. I think you will be amazed at what you will hear.”
Public Information Coordinator
Ponca City Public Schools