Blog | Apr 29

Alumni Behind the Scenes and on the Screen

Alumnae Shenae Anderson and Bree Fotheringham join in the making of the online Resilience Celebration

Conservatory alumnae Shenae Anderson and Bree Fotheringham, who were planning to perform violin solos with the Conservatory Orchestra at the 10th Anniversary Gala, have joined forces with our artistic team to demonstrate resilience, by performing or helping behind the scenes for the online Resilience Celebration to be streamed on May 22, 2020 at 7:00pm MST. 

In February, before they were both sent home from campus, Shenae and Bree kindly took some time out of their busy schedules at Yale University and Colburn School, respectively, to speak with me about their experiences after life at GMS.

Shenae Anderson earned a Bachelor’s degree in Violin Performance at Juilliard School in May 2019 and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Violin Performance at Yale. She said that her four years at Juilliard were the hardest and best four years of her life with lots of ups and downs. She loved the community of students and was able to connect in a meaningful way with a large part of the student body, including incoming classes, as a Resident Assistant in her dorm. After studying for several years with Eugene Watanabe in Salt Lake City, changing teachers to study at Juilliard was a big adjustment. With Masao Kawasaki she learned how to think more about the music and to polish a piece on her own. Like many students who move away for college, Shenae feels that she learned independence as a person and as a musician. She served as Assistant Concertmaster and Second Violin Principal in the Juilliard Orchestra. With close friends from Canada, Australia, and China, Shenae gained a greater perspective of the world while living in New York City. 

If Shenae loved Juilliard so much, one might ask why she didn't choose to stay there for graduate school. She put considerable thought into this question and realized that it wasn’t possible to prolong her time as an undergraduate. She wanted to experience something new and push herself outside her comfort zone. Yale University with a new teacher, Ani Kavafian, a new city, New Haven, Connecticut, and university campus life, is that new experience. The music school at Yale is much smaller than Juilliard’s, which makes for a more intimate setting and an opportunity to work with every student in the program. Shenae is also enjoying participating in a discussion-based course, which requires her to think deeper about her role as a musician and her responsibility to her community and greater society. In the spring of 2020, she will participate in a residency alongside the London Symphony Orchestra as a winner of the MAX Keston Fellowship. 

At the Resilience Celebration, Shenae will perform a moving solo violin performance. You will not want to miss this one!




Bree Fotheringham studies with Robert Lipsett at Colburn School in Los Angeles, and will graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Violin Performance in May 2020. She has served as Concertmaster of the Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra and Associate Concertmaster of the Colburn Orchestra and the American Youth Symphony. 

Bree said that the biggest development during her time at Colburn is her relationship with performing. Upon arrival at Colburn, she was always terrified to perform and struggled greatly with nerves and what one might call imposter syndrome. During her sophomore year, she had a life-changing experience in performing a concert with Andrew Marriner, Principal Clarinetist with London Symphony Orchestra (and son of Sir Neville Marriner). They played the Brahms Clarinet Quintet, and Bree was able to stop worrying about making a mistake, and instead, completely enjoy the music while performing it. She said it was the most amazing experience of her musical career, and that she has enjoyed every performance since.

Bree is a dedicated advocate for classical music in the 21st century and passionate about community engagement. While doing an internship with the Ojai Music Festival in Ojai, California, Bree fell in love with artistic programming. She noted that in many careers in music, the musician has little control over what he or she is playing. She’d like to build a career in music administration and programming while also performing. Bree loves making music as accessible as possible to communities that have historically had less access to it or felt alienated by classical music.

For the upcoming Resilience Celebration, Bree created an orchestral arrangement of Frank Sinatra’s rendition of Fly Me To The Moon. You will want to sing and dance along with members of the Conservatory Chamber Orchestra, Conservatory alumni, board of directors, staff, faculty, and supporters as they perform this catchy swing number!


Meili Bell

Conservatory Director

Gifted Music School