Calling all aspiring vocalists, including those who may not have found their voices yet! Hannah Johnson, a member of The Country School's Class of 2008, will be leading an Intro to A Cappella Workshop as part of Summer Fun and Learning, The Country School's summer camp program.
Singing has been a longtime passion for Hannah, a 2016 graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., where she led the university's all-women a cappella group, Treble in Paradise, performing on the Mall in front of the U.S. Capitol and singing the National Anthem at several Nationals games. She also led the a cappella group at Hopkins in New Haven; between the two schools, she has eight years of experience as an a cappella singer and three years of experience as a musical director.
Although Hannah was a star vocalist at American and Hopkins, she is the first to say she wasn't always comfortable using her voice in public. "Growing up, I was a very timid child," says Hannah, who started at The Country School in PreKindergarten with Nancy Hard. "In my time in the Clark House, I would cry in Ms. Hard's arms as I waved goodbye to my parents each morning."
One thing helped her get through. "My most consistent place of comfort throughout my years at TCS was music class," Hannah said. "It helped me grow as an individual and grow as an artist. By the time I reached Middle School, I became actively involved with the school musicals, which furthered my passion for music and introduced me to the realm of theatre.
"After landing a lead role in Oklahoma, I was encouraged to choose a poem that I could truly 'perform' at the annual MacLane Poetry Recitation that year. That performance carried me into the finals and allowed me to earn third place overall. There is no doubt in my mind that the TCS music program helped me find my voice, both in and out of the classroom. It is because of these experiences that I left TCS with the confidence and drive to continue music throughout both high school and college."
Clearly "performing" is something Hannah has learned to do with both ease and joy. Like her mother (Country School science teacher Stephanie Johnson) before her, Hannah is an educator. After graduating from American with a B.A. in Psychology, she spent last year working as an Assistant Teacher at the Lab School in Washington, D.C., where she used her voice – and maybe some performance skills – to engage her young students.
Hannah is excited to share her passion for singing during the week-long a cappella workshop, being held from July 17-21. Geared toward students in Grades 5-8, participants will learn about the process of turning a popular song into their own, completely unique, a cappella version, and they will work together to arrange and record their song using GarageBand.
Hannah says the camp is an excellent opportunity for students who are passionate about music, singing, or chorus to broaden their musical experience and build confidence in their performance abilities and knowledge of musical construction. The camp will provide a comfortable, supportive environment in which students are encouraged to have fun, take risks, and work collaboratively with their peers.
Click here for more information about the camp and to register. Note: Hannah will also be teaching a Robotics Camp. Learn more about these and other offerings at thecountryschool.org/summer2017.