[Boston, MA – September 18, 2018] – Building on a commitment to music education that goes back to the 19th century, the Handel and Haydn Society announced the appointment of five new faculty members to the Karen S. and George D. Levy Education Program. The program fulfills a mission to provide engaging, accessible, and broadly inclusive music education to thousands of children each year.
The new faculty includes:
- Rachael Chagat, a teaching artist who will work at the F. Lyman Winship Elementary School in Brighton, a new school partner for H+H this year. Chagat brings extensive experience as a teaching artist, having most recently worked for the Metropolitan Opera Guild’s Urban Voices, teaching in elementary schools in Worcester, Lawrence, and Boston. Chagat is on the faculty of the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Days in the Arts and is the director of the choral program at New School of Music in Cambridge. A dedicated soprano soloist and collaborator in chamber music, she performs regularly in the Boston area with Ensemble Lyrae.
- Michal Shein, who brings a versatile career as an orchestral player and chamber musician to her role as a teaching artist at Sarah Greenwood K-8 School in Dorchester. Shein’s orchestral appearances include performances with the Rhode Island Philharmonic, Portland Symphony, Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, and Grand Harmonie. Previously, Shein was Principal Cellist of the acclaimed Discovery Ensemble. She has held faculty positions at the Conservatory Lab Charter School El Sistema, South Shore Music Conservatory, Sharon Music Academy, New England Conservatory Preparatory School, BYSO, among others. Shein is the founder of “Taller de Cuerdas” in Oaxaca Mexico, an intensive string festival for professional players.
- Laura Nevitt, who joins the Vocal Arts Program faculty as a musicianship teacher. An accomplished composer with degrees in music in composition, voice performance and music education, Nevitt is currently a student at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee, pursuing a MM in Choral Conducting. She has previously taught at CrossRoads Intermediate School in Irmo, SC.
- Melissa Weikart, who also joins the Vocal Arts Program faculty, teaching musicianship. A vocalist, pianist, composer and educator, Weikart co-founded Students Advocating for Gender Equality at the New England Conservatory and was awarded an Entrepreneurial Musicianship grant to recompose the album Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys for an all-female ensemble of 17 musicians. In December 2017, she released her debut EP “Coffee,” and she is currently working on a full-length album.
- Dominique Castro, who joins Handel and Haydn Society as the Vocal Arts Program Coordinator. Castro will supervise general operations and provide support for the conductors and musicianship faculty. A New York City native, Castro is an accomplished performer, performing concerts at Carnegie Hall, the Chicago Symphony Center, and the Cleveland Museum of Art, before shifting her focus toward education.
“Each year, the education programs of the Handel and Haydn Society reach thousands of youth across Greater Boston, ensuring students have access to music education, regardless of location or resources,” said David Snead, President and CEO of the Handel and Haydn Society. “Each of these new faculty members brings a depth of educational experience along with significant accomplishments in music. We are looking forward to an amazing year.”
The Karen S. and George D. Levy Education Program comprises the Vocal Arts Program, the Collaborative Youth Concerts, and School Partnerships.
The Vocal Arts Program provides vocal training and exciting choral performance opportunities for talented singers ages 8-18, who may advance through six ensembles based on age and experience. All students participate in musicianship classes that focus on the development of sight-singing, aural skills and media literacy. Vocal Arts Program choirs regularly perform with the Handel and Haydn Society Orchestra and Chorus at Symphony Hall and other prestigious venues.
School Partnerships, led by H+H teaching artists, are year-long weekly instruction, bringing choral and music education programs to Boston’s public schools.
About the Handel and Haydn Society
The Handel and Haydn Society is internationally acclaimed for its performances of Baroque and Classical music. Based in Boston, H+H’s Orchestra and Chorus delight more than 50,000 listeners each year with a nine concert subscription series at Symphony Hall and other leading venues, in addition to a robust program of intimate events in museums, schools, and community centers. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Harry Christophers, the ensemble embraces historically informed performance, bringing classical music to life with the same immediacy it had the day it was written. Through the Karen S. and George D. Levy Education Program, H+H also provides engaging, accessible, and broadly inclusive music education to thousands of children each year. Founded in Boston in 1815, H+H is among the oldest continuously performing classical music ensembles in the United States, and is unique for its longevity, capacity for reinvention, and distinguished history of premieres. For more information, visit handelandhaydn.org.