From former East Lyme High School student to getting hired as the new orchestra teacher, Karin Carlson has been involved in music at ELHS for her whole life. The past winter holiday concert Dec. 18, has been held ever since the school’s first opening and Ms. Carlson has been involved since she got the job.
“We’ve always performed “Hallelujah Chorus.” It’s been a tradition for as long as I can remember,” said Ms. Carlson. “We did it when I went to school here and I sang in the choir and played viola in the orchestra.”
Besides playing “ Hallelujah Chorus,” other traditions include playing a piece with the band and the choir. This year, Ms. Carlson is also throwing in playing pieces from “The Nutcracker,” which hasn’t been played in a while.
Aside from solely listening to the students play, Ms. Carlson invites any alumni and community members to come on stage and play or sing during “Hallelujah Chorus.” In this way, she brings the holiday spirit in bringing different people together and having fun. She forms many connections with her students that make them enjoy music and her class.
Ms. Carlson teaches both A-level and Honors orchestras along with teaching part time at East Lyme Middle School.
After graduating from ELHS, she attended UConn in Storrs and received a degree in viola performance and music education. Ms. Carlson knew she wanted to teach orchestra because of her love for music and interacting with students.
“She’s so smart and knows a lot about what she does and is very honest,” said senior Hannah Goldreich, Honors orchestra and is a violinist. “Her classes are advanced and I feel like it’s a good level for all the students.”
Ms. Carlson also makes the workplace very enjoyable for her co-workers. She comes in with a positive mindset and pushes to get tasks done.
“I love Ms. Carlson’s positive energy and how she lights up the room when she walks in,” said Angelica Fadrowski, band teacher. “She’s always smiling and ready to teach, which I love about working with her.”
Adding to her already busy schedule, Ms. Carlson conducts the Junior String Ensemble at the Thames Valley Music School and plays in two established orchestras in Connecticut along with multiple freelance gigs.