Kathleen McFarland

Kathleen McFarland dressed up on Senior Day at the high school.EDWARDSVILLE - Recent Edwardsville High School graduate Kathleen McFarland will prepare over the summer to embark on the greatest journey of her life – to attend the prestigious Eastman School of Music.

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“I am extremely excited to study under Phillip Ying,” she said. “He is a phenomenal violist and is well known for his work with the Ying Quartet. We are currently in contact regarding repertoire so we may begin as soon as I arrive in the fall.”

Professor Ying has won Grammy Awards and received his education at Harvard University, the New England Conservatory and the Eastman School of Music.

Kathleen said she will miss her time at Edwardsville High School.

“The (EHS) program is supported by the fabulous Edwardsville Orchestra Boosters as well as the Edwardsville High School,” Kathleen said.

“I am extremely proud of Kathleen and I know she will have a great experience at the Eastman School of Music in New York,” Victoria Voumard, Kathleen’s EHS orchestra teacher, said. “She has the work ethic and determination to become a successful professional musician.”

The recent EHS grad was the Arion Award winner and performed the Elgar Concerto in E-minor on viola for a solo at the final EHS orchestra concert.

Kathleen is the daughter of Kerry and Kamilla McFarland.

The Edwardsville High School graduate said she feels it is such an incredible honor to have been accepted into the Eastman School of Music.

“I have heard so many wonderful things about the school, and when Phillip Ying called asking if I was going to attend, I knew it was the perfect school for me,” she said. “Everybody there is so kind and outgoing. The community is warm and welcoming and it already feels like home.”

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This is an article about Eastman School of Music:


(Eastman was named the "Hottest School for Music" in the U.S. by the Kaplan/Newsweek "How to get into college" guide for 2008.[10] A 2014 report said it had been ranked first among U.S. music schools by U.S. News & World Report for five consecutive years.[11]  The acceptance rate was 13 percent in 2011.)

Kathleen said it has meant a lot to her to grow up in Edwardsville.

“My hometown is filled with many kind-hearted people,” she said. “I play the violin and viola at the Goshen Market once a month during the summer and people are always so kind to stop and give warm comments. It is fun to socialize with the community, and I always do my best to represent it well.”

She added: “Being a part of District 7 has had a huge impact on me. I have met so many different people, and without them I would not be who I am today. It’s amazing when I go to perform at my old elementary school, N.O Nelson, [on Grandparents’ Day for example] and one of my old teachers will stop me in the hallway or after the performance, and tell me that they are proud of how far I have come. It is just absolutely incredible that they never stop supporting their students.”

Kathleen has already toured and performed all over the United States, Ireland, Switzerland and Austria.

This past winter she was selected and participated in a five-day event at Carnegie Hall in New York City with rehearsals and a performance under the direction of world-renowned conductors.

This summer, Kathleen plans to give violin and viola private lessons at Halpin Music, as well as Innsbrook Institute Summer Music Academy.

Kathleen’s ultimate goal is to play at a very high level with her music.

“I hope to become accomplished on a level at which I will be performing several times a week to audiences and can share my love of music with the world,” she said, eager to continue on her career at Eastman.

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