Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District

Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District News Article

Video: Senior Soloist Zelda Thayer-Hansen Performs "Allegro"

Apr. 27, 2021 -- Every year, the Instrumental Music Department (IMD) of Cleveland Heights High School has traditionally featured outstanding seniors who compete for the opportunity to play a solo piece with either the Heights High Symphony or Symphonic Winds. However, because in-person, indoor concerts with large groups have not been possible to hold during the 2020-2021 school year, IMD Directors Brett Baker and Daniel Heim offered the opportunity for the Class of 2021 to submit individual video recorded performances for this year. Mr. Baker and Mr. Heim hoped this substitute method would still allow for distinguished senior instrumentalists and their performances to be celebrated on the district website.

The candidate videos were adjudicated directly after Spring Break with the help of Mr. Andrew Bennekamper, and the IMD is excited to now present the winning videos of four select seniors: Franco Casucci (trombone), Katrina Palmer (viola), Zelda Thayer-Hansen (violin), and Marissa Veccia (‘cello). Each one will be released during a separate week leading up to graduation.

Zelda Thayer-Hansen has studied violin with Rachel Huch for over eleven years. During her four years in the Heights High Symphony she has served as Concertmaster for her final two, and she has also been a member of the Contemporary Youth Orchestra for three years. Outside of her musical activities, Zelda has played on the Heights women's soccer team for four years and became the starting varsity goalkeeper and co-captain for her junior and senior years. She also works with Safer Heights, a Black-led social justice organization in the Heights and is a second-year senior intern on the Exhibitions Community Team at Heights Arts Gallery. In the Fall, Zelda will attend The Honors Tutorial College at Ohio University as a Wilfred R. and Ann Lee Konneker College of Fine Arts Cutler Scholar. She plans to study printmaking and general mixed-media art, alongside a probable Spanish minor or second major. As an interdisciplinary artist, she plans to design intricate tattoos from political and personal dilemmas in order to impact her surrounding community.

"Zelda is a consummate leader. She not only possesses extraordinary skill, knowledge, and discipline, but she wields them all with great purpose while keeping her sense of humor," said Mr. Heim. "We wish her all the best!"

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