This summer, PRIZM Ensemble was invited to bring four Memphis-area high school students to South Africa for the annual Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival. Each year, young musicians ages 12-28 from all over the world receive the opportunity to study and perform in chamber and orchestral ensembles at a professional standard. The 10-day festival celebrates outstanding musicianship and serves as a nurturing ground for young talent.
Artis Hardaway, Tevyn Chavious, Lindsey Baker and Eva Winfrey were among the 240 students invited from around the world. The four PRIZM Alumni together formed a Woodwind Quartet and demonstrated their talents in a featured recital, public master classes and concerts. Each student also had the opportunity to study and perform with other international students in duets and trios, as well as in small chamber groups and large orchestras. The faculty, comprised of international artists, assign students challenging repertoire and coach them on their instrument.
“It was an incredible and unforgettable experience,” said Artis. “Not only did we have the opportunity to train with world-class musicians and perform with other students from around the world, but we also traveled to a gorgeous part of the world I’ve never dreamed visiting at this age.”
This year was the first for PRIZM to receive an invitation to the Stellenbosch festival.
“We were excited to learn that PRIZM was selected to attend the festival. This was a prestigious and rare opportunity that these four students were deserving of,” said Rod Vester, executive director of PRIZM Ensemble. “It was an experience of a lifetime that I know these students will carry with them, no matter what path they choose in the future.”
After the festival, the group, along with Rod and PRIZM’s Director of Operations and Educational Programming, Sabrina Hu, spent a few days touring Cape Town, which included embarking on scenic hikes, tasting the local cuisine and reflecting at Nelson Mandela’s prison cell.
“The trip was life-changing,” said Lindsey. “It opened my eyes to new cultures and the rich history of a beautiful country and its people.”
The four students have served as great ambassadors for PRIZM over the years and will continue to serve as PRIZM Alumni after they graduate high school. Eva and Artis graduated last spring from White State High School and Millington Central High School respectively and will begin their undergraduate journey at the University of Memphis this fall. Tevyn is set to begin his senior year at Overton High School, and Lindsey is entering her junior year at Lausanne Collegiate School. In addition to participating in their high school orchestras, the four have been involved with PRIZM programs for several years, including the annual Music Camp and International Chamber Music Festival.
A generous donation from an anonymous donor sponsored the four students to travel to South Africa and attend the exclusive festival.
Watch this video to learn more about Artis, Tevyn, Lindsey and Eva’s experience.