As another academic year begins, we are once again graced with the presence of two graduate students from the University of Maryland School of Music as part of our Artists in Residence Program. As part of the program, the students receive room and board at Collington in exchange for performing regularly and organizing additional concerts and educational programs for our residents. This will be the 4th year of the partnership between Collington and UMD and although it may look different from other years as we continue to combat the coronavirus, our community can use the joy of music now more than ever.
This year’s Artists in Residence are Syneva Colle and Tonya Burton. Colle is currently obtaining her doctorate degree in Cello Performance while Burton is earning hers in Viola Performance. Both of the women moved into Collington in late August and have already had the opportunity to put on a virtual performance for their new friends and neighbors at Collington. They both admit that having restrictions on gatherings may be a bit challenging, but they look forward to finding unique and creative ways to still engage with the residents.
Colle began playing the cello at the age of 9, influenced heavily by her family’s love of bluegrass music. She attended college at the University of Tulsa where she majored in Cello and Piano, and decided to attend the University of Maryland in Fall 2019 to obtain her doctorate in Cello Performance. Colle first became aware of the Artist in Residence program when she applied to UMD and once she officially became a student, she knew it was a program she wanted to be part of.
Though her time at Collington has been short, she is already looking forward to the many concerts they have planned for the residents, as well as getting to learn from the retired musicians who live at Collington. “I’ve already has received such warm welcomes from everyone,” states Colle, “I really look forward to becoming a member of such a special community.”
Burton grew up in household that was always filled with music, having a mother and 2 older sisters who all played various instruments. After attending her first Chamber Music Summer Festival, she really fell in love with string quartets and decided she wanted to take up music professionally. Burton moved to Cleveland for college to attend the Cleveland Institute of Music, then when on to obtain her master’s in music at Rice University, and finally moved to Maryland where she currently resides.
Burton was introduced to the Artists in Residence Program through Natalie Groom, who participated in the program last year. She came to visit and instantly fell in love with the residents and the atmosphere. “I look forward to getting to know many more of the residents,” says Burton, “and I hope to get the chance to play music with them as well!”