“The Hills Are Alive With The Sound of Music…”
Well, maybe not the hills, but rather at Walnut Hill, the creative and performing arts school in Natick,
the sound of music does indeed reverberate throughout the halls.
Cellist Yo-Yo Ma and former US poet laureate Robert Pinsky are members of the arts advisory board, and Jack McCullough co-founder of Proenza Schouler is an alumnus, as are the late Pulitzer Prize winner- the poet Elizabeth Bishop and contemporary pianist Hae Sun Paik.
And last Friday, this prestigious college preparatory school saw a change which signifies a monumental shift in Walnut Hill’s trajectory. Eileen Soskin stepped into the limelight as the new head of Walnut Hill.
The former associate vice provost at Johns Hopkins University, Soskin’s mandate is to take the school to a global playing field. Increasing endowment, attracting more students from countries outside of the United States as well as nationally, and getting the Walnut Hill experience into the country’s mainstream arts scene will be among her top priorities.
While the school’s reputation is well known within certain arts circles, it does not command the name recognition of for instance, the Juilliard School. There are no Walnut Hill alums regularly appearing in the media news sources. And in fact, on a local level, most Natick and Boston residents are unaware of the school’s stellar curriculum and unique position in the arts preparatory world.
It will be Soskin’s mission to sing Walnut Hill from the rooftops - attracting students, faculty, and donations thereby moving the school into the mainstream arts scene. And sing she can, for this head of school is also a musician!
“I am a performer. I accompany students and I sing with them,” Soskin said in a recent WickedLocal.com article. “When I am doing that there is nothing else. Those are the moments that make me able to do the other things.”
Walnut Hill was founded in 1893 as a college preparatory school for women with the mission of being a feeder school for Wellesley College. During the 1970’s Walnut Hill became coeducational and repositioned itself in the creative performing arts niche.**- Source: Wikipedia
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Walnut Hill School Thumbnail of Eileen Soskin: