Announcement From Artistic Director Laura Walton

Dear MV Children’s Chorus Community,

Yesterday afternoon I made a very hard decision to resign effective immediately from my position as artistic director of  MV Children’s Chorus. This was not a planned resignation, but due to factors outside of my control, I feel that resigning is best option for me at this time.

I am anticipating that many of the children will be sad to hear this news. I am more than happy to talk with them about it. Please encourage your children to chat with me if they are upset. I know this will be challenging for children who do not attend Edgartown School, but I am more than willing to work something out so that your children feel fully supported. 

I have so enjoyed teaching your children over the last 2 years. They have taught me as much as I have taught them. Their focus, drive, curiosity, musicianship, energy, and smiling faces are contagious and will be something I miss more than words can express. Working with these singers has been one of the biggest highlights of my music teaching and choral conducting career so far, and I thank you for your support along the way. 

Please feel free to reach out to me at any time through the email address below. lwalton@mvyps.org

All questions regarding the future of the organization can be sent to marthasvineyardchildrenschorus@gmail.com

With Love,

Laura Walton

Prezada Comunidade de Crianças MV Chorus,

Ontem à tarde, tomei uma decisão muito difícil de me demitir imediatamente da minha posição como diretor artístico do MV Children's Chorus. Não foi uma renúncia planejada, mas devido a fatores fora do meu controle, sinto que renunciar é a melhor opção para mim agora.

Estou antecipando que muitas crianças ficarão tristes ao ouvir essas notícias. Estou mais do que feliz em conversar com eles sobre isso. Por favor, incentive seus filhos a falar comigo se estiverem chateados. Sei que este será um desafio para as crianças que não frequentam a Edgartown School, mas estou mais do que disposto a trabalhar em algo para que seus filhos se sintam totalmente apoiados.

Gosto de ensinar seus filhos nos últimos 2 anos. Eles me ensinaram tanto quanto eu os ensinei. Foco, motivação, curiosidade, musicalidade, energia e rostos sorridentes são contagiosos e serão algo que sinto mais falta do que palavras podem expressar. Trabalhar com esses cantores tem sido um dos maiores destaques da minha carreira como professor de música e regente de coral até agora, e agradeço seu apoio ao longo do caminho.

Sinta-se à vontade para entrar em contato a qualquer momento pelo endereço de e-mail abaixo. lwalton@mvyps.org

Todas as perguntas sobre o futuro da organização podem ser enviadas para marthasvineyardchildrenschorus@gmail.com

Com amor,

Laura Walton

Martha's Vineyard Children's Chorus Receives Permanent Endowment Grant.

The MV Children’s Chorus was generously awarded $2,500 by the Permanent Endowment for Martha’s Vineyard. This funding will help our organization continue to grow, and serve young musicians on the island. Artistic Director Laura Walton spoke on behalf of the organization, detailing the positive impact we have on island children and their families. Many thanks to the Permanent Endowment for this needed support!

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Martha's Vineyard Children's Chorus Awarded Cape Cod Five Foundation Grant

The Martha's Vineyard Children's Chorus was generously awarded a $1,000 grant from the Cape Cod Five Foundation, in support of our goal to provide choral music education to all children. Pictured left to right are Laura Walton, Artistic Director and Edgartown Elementary School Music Teacher,  Richard Leonard, Regional President-Martha’s Vineyard for Cape Cod 5, and Casey Hayward, Executive Director and 5/6 Teacher at M V Public Charter School. Many thanks to Richard Leonard and the Cape Cod Foundation for providing us with this needed funding! 

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Announcement from Founding Director, Lisa Varno

I have some important news to share, which leaves me with mixed emotions. I recently accepted a job offer at the Hopkins Center for the Arts at Dartmouth College. While I am very excited about this opportunity, it is very difficult for me to peel away from working with these amazing singers and collaborating with the many fine musicians and directors on this island. Due to this news, we will be shifting roles and responsibilities this next semester. 

At the start of this next semester in January, Laura Walton, music teacher at the Edgartown School, will serve as our Artistic Director, while Casey Hayward, teacher at the Charter School will serve as our Executive Director. You can find out more about our directors below. Our students have loved working with Ms. Walton as she has been assisting our rehearsals this fall! I will continue to stay connected to this wonderful organization as Founding Director, offering support to both Laura & Casey during this transition. You can expect to see me at concerts and for periodic visits to family and friends on the island. 

We look forward to another wonderful semester together in January! Rehearsal dates will be updated shortly and will be held on Wednesdays from 4:15-5:15 (Lyric) & 5:15-6:15 (Concert) at the Edgartown School Music Room. 

Meet Our Directors

Casey Ann Hayward, Executive Director

Casey Ann Hayward is an educator, director, writer and performer. Currently, she is teaching 5/6 grade science and social studies at the Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School in addition to weekly offerings such as improvisation and debate and a two week intensive on music and songwriting. She was a panellist at NYU’s International Forum for Educational Theatre and has apprenticed for The New 42nd Street Studios/New Victory Theatre and The 2009 TONY awards. She trained professionally at The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, Body in Space Theatre Company, and at The Yard for their “DEL Day of Dance Workshop for Island Educators.” She is an active member of Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education and has taught for The National Youth Drama School, The Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, Barrow Street Nursery, The West Tisbury School, The Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival, and Education Unlimited at MIT. Publications include “How To Be An Actor” (New Chapter Press, 2013) and “Exoskeletons: Generating Content For Popular Music” The Teaching Artist Journal (Taylor & Francis, 2016). In 2017, she co-wrote, “Gene Play” with Jonah Lipsky; directed by Joann Green Breuer (Monday Night Special Series, MV Playhouse). Education: MA, New York University. BFA, Boston University.

Laura Walton, Artistic Director

Laura Walton currently serves as the Edgartown School’s K-8 Choral/General Music Teacher and is excited to continue building this ensemble within our island community. Laura holds a Bachelor’s of Music in Music Education from Syracuse University Setnor School of Music and is pursuing a Master's Degree in Elementary General and Special Education at New York University. She has experience working in a variety of educational settings ranging from interning with the Syracuse Children’s Chorus under the direction of Marcia DeMartini, teaching early childhood music classes, and tutoring academic and literacy skills to various ages; her students have ranged as young as early childhood through high school. Laura believes all children have strengths, whether they be musical or otherwise, and that the job of a teacher is to find those strengths and foster them to their fullest potential.

I am so proud of this amazing group of singers and it has been a joy to observe their continued growth!  I am indebted to you, parents, for all of your support; our fabulous singers for their energy, enthusiasm, and dedication; our wonderful accompanist Griffin; Jan Wightman, Abigail Chandler, Peter Boak & the Island Community Chorus, Carolee Stewart, Kevin Ryan, Emily Anderson for your openness to collaborate and support our growing organization; and to our strong island community for welcoming us with open arms. 

Have a wonderful holiday season, and we look forward to celebrating the beginning of our third year with you in January!

Sincerely,

Lisa Varno, Founding Director