Alexander, Corker Congratulate Susanna Johnson and Kameron Myers on Participating in National Symphony Orchestra’s Summer Music Institute

Johnson, 20, of Murfreesboro, and Myers, 16, of Franklin, performed for the Senators and visiting Tennesseans at constituent event Tuesday

Posted on July 13, 2011

WASHINGTON – At yesterday’s “Tennessee Tuesday,” their weekly Tuesday breakfast with Tennesseans visiting Washington, Tennessee’s U.S. Senators, Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker, and all in attendance were treated to a performance by Susanna Johnson of Murfreesboro, on viola, and Kameron Myers of Franklin, on violin, both musicians participating in this year’s National Symphony Orchestra National Trustees’ Summer Music Institute 2011. 

“I wish the United States Senate could operate with even a small bit of the harmony you two shared with us this morning,” Alexander told the musicians. Of their performance, Alexander said, “I applaud Susanna and Kameron for their talent and commitment to music, which has been a great source of joy in my life since my mother took me to my first piano lesson as a child. I told them this morning that when I was a law clerk in New Orleans back in the ‘60s, I’d go down to a place called Your Father’s Mustache on Bourbon Street and play whatever instrument they needed that night—trombone, tuba, or washboard. I hope their love of music – one of Tennessee’s great treasures that unifies our state like almost nothing else – continues and that they keep looking for ways to bless other lives with their great talent.”

“Music heritage runs deep in Tennessee, so the opportunity to watch two talented young people like Susanna and Kameron perform for us in Washington is special.  It’s a reminder of what makes our state and country great,”  Corker said.  “The recognition they received from Lamar Alexander, the Senate’s resident musician, is high praise indeed.”

Johnson and Myers were among 55 students chosen to participate in this year’s institute, and are the only Tennessee participants. The institute runs for four weeks, during which students receive training and “experiences designed to aid aspiring musicians for futures in music,” according to the Kennedy Center Education Department. Training includes intensive coaching by members of the National Symphony, private lessons, a side-by-side rehearsal with members of the NSO, master classes with NSO musicians, seminars, and a concerto competition.

Students also perform six Kennedy Center concerts between June 27 and July 25.

According to the Kennedy Center, participants are chosen by recorded audition and résumés submitted either to the state chapters of the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education or to other designated arts organizations located in their regions.  The various institutions review the résumés and narrow the submissions to a final round including the recorded auditions that is then judged by a jury of NSO musicians.  

“Tennessee Tuesday” is a light breakfast of coffee and doughnuts cosponsored by Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker for Tennesseans visiting Washington every Tuesday that the Senate is in session. Guests can meet the senators, staff from both senators’ offices and, when possible, have their photographs taken with the senators. Tennesseans interested in attending can call 202-224-4944 to make a reservation and confirm the room location.

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