Pakachoag Music School is pleased to announce that two students have been selected for the 2021 Reinburg Award for Effort, Commitment and Attitude: Mai Caslowitz, voice student, of Sturbridge and Ksheeraja Ramanujum, violin student, from Shrewsbury.
About Mai Caslowitz of Sturbridge
Mai Caslowitz, from Sturbridge, is a senior at Tantasqua High School. Mai has been enrolled at Pakachoag for over 10 years, first starting at age two! Mai began her musical journey with Pakachoag in 2005 as a participant, with mom, in the School’s early childhood Music Together program. Mai later enrolled in the School’s Suzuki Program as a violin student, and in 2018 narrowed her focus to private vocal studies.
Mai has excelled during her music studies, most notably being selected for the 2021 All Eastern Music Festival Chorus which draws vocalists from across the northeastern US.
Mai’s private voice teacher, Pakachoag faculty member Silvia Irving, formerly a professional vocalist with Boston’s Handel & Haydn Society, writes: “These four years with Mai have been an inspirational journey with a blossoming young artist. From the beginning she has been an exceptionally self-motivated student, always being open to learn, explore and share new ideas and literature. Mai’s consistent focus and effort has allowed her to gain richness and flexibility in her vocal expression and to sing an impressive array of songs from classical to music theater.”
Mai will enter Ryder University in the fall pursuing a BFA in Musical Theatre.
About Ksheeraja Ramanujam of Shrewsbury
Ksheeraja Ramanujam, of Shrewsbury, the second recipient of this year’s Reinburg Award, studies violin at Pakachoag with Amy Matherly. She has been enrolled for seven years and is currently completing her junior year at Shrewsbury High School where she plays in the school orchestra.
Teacher Amy Matherly comments, “Ksheeraja loves playing the violin and views it as a pleasure to be enjoyed. She listens to music with interest and sets goals for herself. A dedicated and enthusiastic student, she practices thoughtfully and comes to her lessons well prepared. I am pleased that she has received this award!”
In addition to her activities at Pakachoag, Ksheeraja participates in the Shrewsbury High School Orchestra and studies the Carnatic style of classical Indian violin at the Anubhava School of Music. She was also accepted into the 2021 MMEA Senior Orchestra.
Ksheeraja is interested in biochemistry and plans to pursue a career in that field. She plans to continue playing the violin in college and would like to set up a multi-instrument fusion club where people from different backgrounds and cultures can come together to learn from each other and enjoy music.
About the Peggy Kelley Reinburg Award
The Peggy Kelley Reinburg Award for Effort, Commitment and Attitude, named after the School’s second director who strove to instill an appreciation for excellence among all School students, is awarded annually, each spring. With the pandemic closures in Spring 2020, the School did not present an award last year and is thus happy to be able to acknowledge two very deserving students this spring of 2021.
Prior recipients of the PKR award, which dates back to 1992, include students who have gone on to excel in the sciences, law enforcement, engineering, aviation, education (both k-12 and higher education), social work and professional careers in music performance, music education, and musical theater.