Camden Hills Student of the Month: Duncan Hall

Posted:  Thursday, December 12, 2013 - 9:15am

ROCKPORT — The Camden Hills Regional High School visual and performing arts "Student of the Month" for December is senior Duncan Hall. Hall has been very active in nearly every aspect of the Visual & Performing Arts Department ranging from vocal and instrumental music to theater.

Hall first developed a passion for music in fourth grade when he began playing the violin. At the end of fifth grade he switched to cello, eventually studying with Marc Johnson. Later, he expanded his string studies to progressive fiddle music with Seth Yentes and fiddle camps in Maine as well as at the Berklee School of Music. In high school, Duncan became very involved in vocal music participating in chorus for all four years. At this level, he also took up the electric bass and joined the school jazz band. Duncan has been a member of the a cappella vocal group the "Offbeats" for the last two years. He has had a role in a variety of musicals, this year portraying Lord Farquaad in "Shrek." In addition to his involvement in music, he has taken various classes in visual arts, web design and has been a student director of the one act plays.

He has been a participant in the 2012 and 2103 All-State Orchestra, earning first chair in his section last year. He was awarded the Daniel Pearl Memorial Cello Award at the Berklee College of Music and was invited to attend chamber music sessions with the DaPonte String Quartet. In 2010, his piano quartet "Kraftig" won the Kathy Johnson Chamber Music Prize.

Hall finds most rewarding the creative connections that music creates with peers and audience members alike. Due to this, he gravitates toward chamber music where "cohesion and ensemble is critical to successful performance." He really enjoys how his part fits in and supports other musicians, finally "clicking, when we are playing music and not just the notes on the page". His favorite artists include Beethoven, Daponte String Quartet, March Johnson, Crooked Still, Daniel Roumain, Nathaniel Smith, Rushad Eggleston, Tracy Silverman and Until the Ribbon Breaks.

Although he does not plan to attend a music conservatory next year, Hall does look forward to continuation of his study in a variety of types of music.

His advice to younger students pursuing the arts; "Go for it! There is nothing in the world like the arts. Whatever art form attracts you, it is worth the investment. Unlike some of the other more addicting and enthralling forms of entertainment, art is something you can share with someone else. Don't let it feel like work. Enjoy it – that's the point!"