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Violist Claire Satchwell of Solvang Earns Full Scholarship to Interlochen Arts Academy

Claire Satchwell
Claire Satchwell

This summer, Solvang resident and Santa Ynez High School sophomore Claire Satchwell spent eight weeks in northern Michigan at the prestigious Interlochen Center for the Arts, where she was selected, via audition, as a member of the World Youth Symphony Orchestra as a violist.

This youth orchestra is, as its name implies, one of the best youth orchestras in the world and is highly competitive with hundreds of young musicians competing for spots in the ensemble. To maintain one's position in the orchestra, re-auditions occur every two weeks on highly difficult orchestral excerpts.

Satchwell spent the summer living in a cabin in the woods with 18 other talented students from all over the world and had classes in dance, chamber music and music theory in addition to private lessons on viola and three hours of orchestral rehearsals a day.

Located in beautiful northwest Michigan, the 1,200-acre Interlochen Arts Camp campus includes 120 cabins, three cafeterias, two sandy freshwater lakes and over a dozen performance venues.

At the end of the eight weeks, Satchwell was recruited for the Interlochen Arts Academy, the most prestigious performing arts high school in the country and given a full scholarship as a viola major. She will be leaving on Sept. 6 to start her coursework therein.

Satchwell has been a member of Santa Barbara Strings for the past four years in both its orchestral and chamber music programs. Her private viola instructor is Mary Beth Woodruff and her father, Alan Satchwell, is head of worship music at Santa Ynez Presbyterian Church, where Satchwell also sings in the church choir.

Satchwell has been a recipient of a scholarship awarded to her by the Santa Barbara Music Club this past year.

— Mary Beth Woodruff is the artistic director of Santa Barbara Strings.

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