Musicians of the Week: Zoe Thierfelder ‘19 & Annie Hait ’19

Samika Hariharan ’20 and Shreya Kumar ’20
Zoe Thierfelder & Annie Hait ’19 are two of the many talented musicians in both The Lawrentians and Rouge. Together, they co-president Lawrenceville’s premiere female a capella group and play the piano and guitar. They have recently performed in Lessons and Carols with The Lawrentians, as well as with Rouge on their MLK Day of Service.
 
Samika Hariharan ‘20: Every great musician has their start somewhere, so when did you first start singing?
AH ‘19: I started singing when I began going to Stuart Country Day School. It was there where I first joined a choir and it was there where I first developed my love for music and performance. I would say that it was my experience at Stuart, being in musicals and singing in the choir, that I motivated me to continue studying music in high school.
 
Shreya Kumar ‘20: What is your favorite part about making music? How did your Lawrenceville experience allow you to cultivate this passion?
ZT ‘19: I think music is really interesting because it, like all forms of art, lies directly in the crossroads between technical skill and creativity. My favorite part about making music is the fact that it allows me to use my left and right brain at the same time while writing songs or arrangements. Also, I think performing is really fun and I love that a performing a song gives you three minutes of uninterrupted connection between you and your audience.
 
SH: What has motivated you to continue to practice and perform over the years?
AH: If I had to pick one factor that drove me to continue to sing and study music, it would be my friends. Zoe Thierfelder and Sally Thomas have been my rocks over the past four years, and the two of them are a huge part of what makes me excited to go to Lawrentians. The two of them, as well as the relationships I’ve built with other member of Lawrentians - Mr. [Robert] Palmer (Director of Music) and Mr. [Tom] Goeman (School Organist), too - have made pursuing music such a worthwhile and enjoyable experience. I thank music for bringing me some of my best friends, and I thank my best friends for showing me how beautiful and fun music can be.
 
SK: Have you encountered any hardships or challenges in your time as a musician? If so, what were they?
ZT: There have definitely been ups and downs over the years. From eighth grade to sophomore year, I went through a serious rut with piano; I stopped taking lessons entirely for two years, I never practiced, and I sort of let it fall to the wayside. I returned to lessons and began taking it seriously again at the start of my junior year. I had let music in general take a backseat during my first two years here, and starting songwriting at the end of my sophomore year revived my interest and love of music and prompted me to restart piano lesson.
 
SH: I’d hate to make you both choose, but what have been your favorite music programs/events on campus, or do you have any particularly fond memories?
AH: My favorite Lawrenceville music event is definitely Lessons and Carols. There is so much preparation leading up to it, building from the very first rehearsal Lawrentians have in the fall. It is always such an incredible feeling of joy to share our hard work with the school community and no other event quite captures that feeling for me like Lessons and Carols. It holds such a weighty emotional value to me that I started crying during “Sure On This Shining Night” because I realized my time in Lawrentians, with the school community, and with my friends was nearing its end.
 
A more light hearted moment I will forever cherish is the first time I performed with Zoe and Sally when we were Second Formers. We performed “Little Talks” during the Winter Eco Coffeehouse and this year we reprised our performance!
 
ZT: I think my favorite music events are the Allegro Shows. I love how they provide a really positive and supportive environment both accomplished musicians and students who just want to sing or play a song they like for their peers. I think the vibe is always really upbeat and fun and I love how everyone comes out to support the performers.
 
For additional information, please contact Lisa M. Gillard Hanson, director of Public Relations, at lgillard@lawrenceville.org.
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