A Farewell to Artists

Hannah Liu ’19
A four-year voice student, Hannah Liu ’19 has performed twice on the stage of Carnegie Hall. On May 24, Liu sang “O Mio Babbino Caro” with accompaniment from the Hotchkiss Orchestra during the Ensemble Concert in Elfers Hall. Liu will continue her studies at Harvard University next year.

What does music mean to you?
When I came to Hotchkiss, singing really opened up a lot of different doors for me here. [It is] something [that] will stick with me forever. One of the biggest things I love about music is [that] it is moving and alive.

Are there special moments that stand out in your memory?
Last year, I was in a student recital, and I forgot [the] lyrics to [a] German song on stage. A couple [of] days after, [Mr. Witkowski] came up to me and asked if I wanted to go to Carnegie Hall and perform that exact same song. I [thought], why would you choose me? I just showed you that I wouldn’t be a good fit for this super-important inaugural recital. It’s just incredible to see that trust coming from a teacher, and that gave me the confidence to pursue music on a higher level.
What advice would you give to current music students?
Music would be nothing without expression, so make every piece of music your story. Find references in literature, cinematography, art, and of course, in your own daily life. Put yourself in the music you play or sing; laugh with it; cry with it. Once you have done that, walk on stage and share that story with others.

Tina Guo ’19
A four-year Visual Arts student, Tina Guo ’19 started “Pop Da Palette,” a publication focusing on pop art. Guo’s 5-minute animation, “Color,” is on display in the 2019 Senior show. Next year, Guo will continue her studies in a dual-degree program offered by Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design.

How has the school shaped your artistic path?
None of the [other] boarding schools I visited put as much attention on its Art program as Hotchkiss does, [with its] Tremaine shows, MoMA and MET field trips, [and] gorgeous lake view. I was really impressed that nearly a third of Main Building is dedicated to the Arts! I am especially grateful for my Art teachers. They let me pursue my own ideas and push me to test my limits while having fun at the same time.

How do you plan to continue art in the future?
I am planning to start out as an illustrator, and my dream job is to work as a concept artist in an animation studio.

Are there special moments that stand out in your memory?
Blind contour [drawings] used to be one of my biggest artistic nightmares. They were just too uncertain, too time-consuming, too repetitive. After a year of consistent practice in blind contours, I realized how much I [had] improved my sketching skills. It was a huge leap for me.

What advice would you give to current Visual Arts students?
If you want to achieve results, it will take a lot [of] work, practice, and research beforehand.

Hannah Lothian ’19
A four-year theatre student, Hannah Lothian ’19 is a board member of the Hotchkiss Dramatic Association (HDA). Lothian contributed to multiple productions during her four years at Hotchkiss, including Shockheaded Peter and Hay Fever. Lothian will continue her studies at Yale University.
What does theatre mean to you?
I chose theatre before my freshman year started, because I wanted to perform. It was more about being a center of attention at that point. [Then] I auditioned for the [Black Box productions] and got cast. I became more aware of how much more there is to [theater] than just being on stage for ten minutes. The art of storytelling, that desire to learn about interesting characters and study the act of transforming yourself into something else has been my fascination.

Do you plan to continue theatre in the future?
When I was considering college, I was thinking about how I would be able to do theatre going forward. I applied to programs in technical design and direction, because those were things that I thought I could apply to a career [in the discipline].

What advice would you give to current theatre students?
The first thing you need [is] to get over yourself. It’s not about you. In any group project, you need to separate the story you are telling from your desire to get attention. Commit to things, put yourself aside, and enjoy theatre for what it is.

Matthew Yao ’19
A four-year clarinet student, Matthew Yao ’19 has performed twice at Carnegie Hall. On May 24, Yao conducted the Orchestra for “The Tsar’s Bride,” becoming the first student to do so. Next year, Yao will major in music at the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University.

What does music mean to you?
Music is a way to unite and move people, and that was the hook for me. [It] is meant to be shared with an audience, so whether it be through playing or conducting, I wanted to convey [my] love of music with other people.

How do you plan to continue music in the future?
I’ll pursue a [Bachelor of Music] in Clarinet performance and continue studying conducting.

Are there special works or moments that stand out in your memory?
For my Teagle, I wrote about the history of the Music program. I met Mr. Witkowski’s predecessor, Mr. David Sermersheim, and marveled at how far the music program has come since residing in the Chapel basement. Conducting will also remain a highlight of my Hotchkiss career, and I’ll be forever grateful for the opportunity.
What advice would you give to current music students?
Take time to explore different works by composers, because that may influence the way you approach your own pieces. We musicians are blessed with the opportunity to share emotions and stories with others, so if you love it, then pursue it! There’s no greater satisfaction than seeing your own performances touch others.