Gettysburg College prepares mother and son for music careers



Not only did a Gettysburg College education help Holly Krafka '78 establish Boston's well-known New World Chorale, it also provided her son Nick '11 with a solid foundation to successfully begin his music education career.

After singing with the Boston Symphony Orchestra's Tanglewood Festival Chorus for 20 years, Holly asked 40 colleagues to perform in her recital for the Boston Conservatory. Little did she know that her spontaneous group would morph into what is today a popular orchestral chorus based in Boston, the New World Chorale.

At Gettysburg College, Holly majored in music education, a degree she describes as "priceless" to her career. Inspired and motivated by her experiences conducting Gettysburg's College Choir, Holly pursued her dream confident in her abilities.

Well-prepared for a music career after college, Holly began teaching high school chorus and conducting musical theater productions. However, she never lost sight of her true passion: conducting. Enrolling in the Boston Conservatory, Holly received her master's in choral conducting, hoping to follow her dream of one day conducting her own vocal group.

Holly and Nick (a member of the marching band) enjoy a Bullets football gameWhen 40 close friends performed at her recital at the Boston Conservatory, Holly quickly recognized the assembly's potential. As the choir continued to rehearse and perform, the New World Chorale slowly evolved.

Recently, Holly's New World Chorale was awarded a generous grant from the Free For All Concert Fund, an organization established to bring classical music concerts to the underserved Boston community. With this grant, the Chorale will perform a concert on October 23rd, "Choral Greatest Hits - A Listener's Guide to Choral Music." Holly is conducting with a full orchestra accompaniment.

In the fall of 2007, Holly's son Nick enrolled at Gettysburg College, in pursuit of a degree in music education. Holly admits that she was "extremely pleased" with Nick's education at Gettysburg, and both mother and son felt he had concrete groundwork for a future career.

"He was extremely well prepared with a professional portfolio with work samples, recommendations, lesson plans, and experience. Overall, he was provided with great preparations after his degree," Holly said.

When Nick began his teaching position at a middle school, there was no prior curriculum for the program. He contacted his Gettysburg professors who sent him curriculum plans and samples, support that Holly called "exceptional." Holly is proud to say that he will also be singing with the New World Chorale in their October "Choral Greatest Hits" event.

For current Gettysburg College students pursuing a music career, Holly emphasized the importance of perseverance, "Whether or not you are an educator, you should have a fulfilling and vibrant performing career of your own."

"Consistent performing and practicing are crucial to keeping the individual current in the music field and the creative juices flowing," Holly said. Equally important, Holly seizes every opportunity to "teach, conduct, or direct."

About the New World Chorale

The New World Chorale is one of the most in-demand choruses in the greater Boston area, performing with organizations such as the Boston Ballet and the Lexington Symphony. Founded in 1999, the New World Chorale has performed the best American choral music with the finest orchestras in New England.

The membership comprises Boston's most experienced choral singers and soloists who have performed locally and internationally with large-scale orchestras. The New World Chorale has presented both classical numbers, featuring works of Mozart, Brahms, and others, and modern arrangements, such as "The Music Man" and "South Pacific in Concert."

Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition. Alumni include Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate, and other distinguished scholars. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

Article by Libby Conroy, communications and marketing intern
Contact: Nikki Rhoads, assistant director of communications, 717.337.6803

Posted: Wed, 26 Oct 2011

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