Encore Students Go To Carnegie


Encore Music Academy and Recording Studios: A Royal Conservatory of Music Founding School and Official Assessment Center

Promoting excellence in the fields of music education, performance, and the recording arts.”


Encore Music Academy and Recording Studios, in Franklin, MA, is pleased provide two significant announcements regarding student achievements.

Claire Bauer, age 15 of Franklin, and Maura Johnston, age 16 of Norfolk, are both students of voice at Encore Music Academy and Recording Studios. Each young woman has recently been awarded the National Gold Medal of Excellence for 2018 by the Royal Conservatory of Music: Bauer for Level 6 Voice, and Johnston for Level 2 Voice. The Royal Conservatory of Music awards the National Gold Medal of Excellence to the student who has achieved the highest score in the country within their specific skill level for each instrument during the academic year. For the assessments, students are scored on proficiency in the following areas: performance; technical requirements; aural skills; rhythm; and sight-reading ability.

Johnston, who has been studying voice for three years and piano for one year under the expert guidance of piano and vocal instructor, Rebecca Abalutzk, also performs and records albums with the recording ensemble, The Encore EnHarmonix. Abalutzk said, “I am both extremely proud and fortunate to work with such a driven young woman. She is the type of student who reminds me why I became a teacher in the first place”.

Claire Bauer, under the guidance of her vocal instructor, Lisa Ostrow, (who has guided students to National Gold medals three times previously), began her studies in voice using the curriculum of the RCM right from the start. Upon hearing of her award, Bauer mused, “Well, I think getting this award has a lot to do with the person who drives me everywhere,” and then she gave her mom the biggest smile ever. Ostrow said, “Students like Claire are every teacher’s dream. They challenge us to be the very best that we can be, so that they can reach their full potential.”

How Do You Get to Carnegie Hall?  Practice!!

This year, on February 16, an unprecedented number of Encore students will be making the trip to New York City to perform on the stage at the illustrious Carnegie Hall! Two of them, Maura Johnston, National Gold Medal winner 2018 and State winner 2017, and Mia Quinn, National Gold Medal winner 2017, and State winner 2018, will be making their second appearance in two years. These eight students, including Bauer and Johnston, were invited to perform based upon their exemplary success in their respective levels of voice and piano in the 2018 Royal Conservatory of Music academic year. Many congratulations to the following six additional Encore performers and their instructors:

  • Amelia MacEvoy, age 11 of Medway, Level 1 piano and student of Rebecca Abalutzk
  • Alyssa McGuirl, age 10 of Millis, Level 2 voice and student of Caitlin Medlin
  • Sneha Mukkavilli, age 10 of Walpole, Level 1 piano and student of Rebecca Abalutzk
  • Max Olson, age 16 of Medway, Level 4 piano and student of Scott Nicholas
  • Mia Quinn, age 12 of Franklin, Level 1 voice and student of Lisa Ostrow
  • Sunehri Verma, age 11 of Franklin, Level 1 piano and student of Lisa Ostrow

A number of students from Encore Music Academy and Recording Studios, located in Franklin and Millis, participate in the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) assessment sessions each year. The RCM assessment process represents an extremely exciting opportunity for students, on a national level, to demonstrate the skills that they have honed through practice. Locally, assessments are held at Encore Music Academy and Recording Studios, which is a Founding School and a regional assessment center for this internationally-acclaimed program. Student participants come from all around the New England area to take the assessments, while adjudicators travel from all across Canada in order to administer the exams. Not only do the adjudicators judge students based on ability to perform on the instrument of their choice within their skill level, but they also administer academic assessments in music theory, harmony, history, and analysis.

The Royal Conservatory of Music provides a recognized national standard of success in music study from beginner to advanced levels. It inspires excellence through individual student assessments that are central to the Program, while also supporting teachers with high-quality and innovative resources. The RCM allows students to measure and celebrate accomplishment and track their progress throughout the country. All students and teachers across the United States are invited to participate, and Encore Music Academy and Recording Studios is proud to be able to offer these opportunities at the school and through outreach to the surrounding communities.

Ostrow, co-owner of Encore Music Academy and Recording Studios, had this to say:

“The accomplishments of all eight of these young students is simply extraordinary. Having scored higher than any other student in the country [National Gold Medal winners] or having won State recognition and having achieved a score of 90 or higher on their respective vocal and piano assessments, for these students an invitation to perform at Carnegie Hall is a true testament to the dedication each offers to their music studies, the level of support each receives from their family, and the innate talent and tremendous desire to achieve that each brings to the table. And, best of all, each of these students is an absolute joy to work with – fun and funny, talented, and so very musical.” Ostrow’s business partner, Patrick Dreier, adds, “We are very proud of each of them, as we are of all our students.”