Natick: Walnut Hill School 's New Head Hits High Note...John Prescott's The MetWest Scene

Real Estate Agent with Century 21 Commonwealth Wellesley

Singing Headmistress at Walnut Hill…John Prescott’s The MetWest Scene

“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.

What many consider to be “Natick’s best kept secret,” Walnut Hill ranks in the “upper echelons of arts preparatory schools - on par with elites such as Interlochen in Michigan and Idyllwild in California - with a $13 million-and-growing endowment, international student body, and expanding campus with a new dorm designed by architect Jeremiah Eck.”*

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!

Photo Marshall Wolff/Daily News Staff

“I am a performer. I accompany students and I sing with them,” Soskin said in a recent 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


Natick’s Walnut Hill Welcomes New Head/

* Walnut Hill Looks To Future/Boston Globe






Top Real Estate Agent for more than 14 years, serving the real estate needs of  Wellesley, South Natick, Weston, Needham, Wayland, Newton, Framingham and other MetWest communities.


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Walnut Hill School Thumbnail of Eileen Soskin:

Eileen SoskinEileen Soskin
Head of School

Eileen Soskin, newly appointed Head of School, is well-known as a pre-concert lecturer and speaks often on the importance of an education in the arts. Dr. Soskin studied at the High School of Music and Art, Queens College of the City University of New York, San Francisco State University, and the University of California at Berkeley where she received a Ph.D in Musicology. Previously she served as the Associate Vice Provost for the Arts of the Johns Hopkins University and as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the Peabody Conservatory, and held faculty positions at the Peabody Conservatory, the University of Iowa, and the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Soskin is the author of Rudiments of Music for Music Majors, a music theory textbook and performs regularly as a mezzosoprano and keyboard player. She is the proud mother of Naomi Permutt, a senior at Oberlin College, and Sam Permutt, a sophomore at Haverford College.


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