CAYLA FREEDLANDER, Week of May 24, 2021
Cayla is a freshman at Langley High School, where she is studying the dramatic arts. She began voice lessons when she was in 8th grade at Cooper Middle School. During this pandemic time, she has been a loyal student, even walking from home in the rain to study voice. Sometimes these lessons have been given outside! Cayla has learned so much repertoire this year. She has also performed in several outdoor performance events. As a participant in the Northern Virginia Music Teachers Association (NVMTA) Classical Voice Achievements event, Cayla videotaped herself singing two classical pieces, one in Italian. She received excellent comments. Cayla began enjoying acting during elementary school years at Spring Hill Elementary School. She very much looks forward to taking part in plays and musicals at Langley High School. In the next few weeks, she will take part in their spring cabaret.


VICTORIA WANG, Week of May 24, 2021
Victoria is a sophomore at Thomas Jefferson School of Science and Technology. She began voice lessons with Peggy in the summer of 2020, and during this time, she has made excellent progress in developing her singing voice. She received honorable mention in the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Beginning High School Division auditions. She qualified to participate in the Mid-Atlantic NATS virtual competition. She also received honors in the Northern Virginia Music Teachers Association (NVMTA) Voice Achievements competition held later in the spring. Victoria studied piano when she was five years old and during her years at Spring Hill Elementary School, she played both viola and violin. She has also sung in choirs for six years at both Spring Hill and at Longfellow Middle School. Besides studying voice and working hard as a T.J. student, Victoria is a member of the T.J. varsity volleyball team.


MIRANDA SIMPSON, Week of May 10, 2021
Miranda is a sophomore at McLean High School, where she is very involved in McLean theatre performances. She has studied voice with Peggy for almost two years. She never missed a week of lessons during the pandemic, and she performed in the December 2020 outdoor recital. She will sing on May 16 at the McLean park recital. Miranda participated in the Northern Virginia Music Teachers Association (NVMTA) Musical Theatre Competition in the fall of 2020. She made an excellent video of a monologue and musical theatre song performance! In performances with AFYP (Acting for Young People), this young singer has performed as Timon in The Lion King and as Fiona in Shrek The Musical. Before the pandemic, she was set to perform in the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee with McLean Theatre. Miranda is a member of the International Thespian Society. 


​JOSEPH KNECHT, Week of April 25, 2021
Joseph Knecht is a junior at Langley High School, where he is has been singing in Concert Choir for two years. He began voice lessons with Peggy one year ago and he has not missed one week of lessons! He started studying online but was able to continue lessons “in person” several months ago. He participated in our outdoor recital in late March, and he plans to perform in our McLean Park recital in two weeks. Joseph attended school overseas until the 6th grade. His first time singing in public was in pre-school in Romania, where music was a key part of the school curriculum. Joseph’s favorite musical genre is “metal rock,” though he prefers to sing baroque Italian arias.


​JASPER LAVAN, Week of April 19, 2021
Jasper is a sophomore at the Alexandria City High School. He began lessons with Peggy online at the beginning of the pandemic, and he has been so loyal in his attendance. Jasper performed at the December 5, 2020, recital and at the Backyard Workshop on March 23, 2021. Jasper has also studied saxophone and piano in the past, and he hopes to resume piano studies again and then guitar. His interests include theatre (he played the lead in Great Expectations in 2019); writing poetry (he won the ACP’s poetry contest in 2018); and writing and producing songs with music videos to accompany them. He is currently a part of the Arena Stage "Voices of Now" ensemble. The group is working on a film to be shown in May. Jasper’s original music and videos are viewable on his YouTube channel: Jasper Lavan.


MEGHA RANA, Week of April 5, 2021
Megha, who is a senior at McLean High School, began voice lessons with Peggy last summer, and since then she has made excellent progress in developing her singing voice. On March 25, she performed in the backyard workshop and she looks forward to participating in the spring recital on May 16. Megha was enrolled in a French immersion Fairfax County Elementary School, and because of this instruction, she has continued to enjoy singing and speaking in French. In summers, she has been involved in a non-profit project in Nepal, from where her family originated. She visits her relatives there each summer vacation. During her freshman and sophomore high school years, Megha enjoyed participating in the McLean High School crew team. Megha hopes to attend college in the United Kingdom.


​MAGGIE WORDEN, Week of March 22, 2012

Maggie Worden, who will graduate in June from Langley High School, has been involved in choral singing since 4th grade. She is a member of the prestigious Langley Madrigals and, in the past years, she has been selected several times for All-District Choir. This year as well she was chosen to be in the Senior Honors Choir and in the All-State Choir, where she will sing second alto. As a child, Maggie studied piano for several years and this opportunity to learn basic musicianship has been an important factor in her singing success and in her love of music. In her spare time, Maggie loves to crochet!


MAISIE WANG, Week of March 1, 2021
Maisie is a sophomore at Chantilly High School, where she sings in their choir. She began online voice lessons with Peggy in fall 2020 and participated in the December recital. She also entered the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) spring high school auditions. She was selected to participate in All-District Choir. Maisie has been studying classical singing and piano since the age of 8 in Beijing, China. When she was 11, she returned to the United States and since then she has continued her piano studies and she has completed ABRSM exams (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music). She is anxious to begin “live” music instruction and to meet her fellow singers at Chantilly High School!


ANEESHA SINGH, Week of Feb. 15, 2021
Aneesha, freshman at Langley High School, has been a very loyal voice student throughout the pandemic as she takes online weekly lessons. Aneesha has studied voice for two school years and during this time she has participated in both the Northern Virginia Music Teachers Association (NVMTA) musical theatre competition this fall and in the Virginia National Association of Teachers of Singing (VANATS) high school classical auditions last month. She received honors and is now eligible to sing in the mid-Atlantic regionals next month. While a student at Cooper Middle School, Aneesha performed the role of Sherie in Rock of Ages and Ursula in The Little Mermaid. She has been selected to sing in All-District Choir for the past two years. She has loved to sing all her life. When she was just an infant, her mother sang solfeggio intervals to her as they listened to The Sound of Music. Aneesha has studied piano since age 4 and she continues to take weekly piano lessons.


CATHERINE KNECHT, Week of Feb. 1, 2021
Catherine is a sophomore at Langley High School, where she studies both drama and music. She sings in both the chamber and concert choirs. Catherine has taken lessons with Peggy since she was in the 8th grade. She has been a very loyal voice student, having sung in multiple student recitals and workshops, and participated in a variety of vocal competitions. Throughout her academic career, Catherine performed in a number of school musical productions, as well as All-District Chorus. She hopes to major in musical theatre or vocal performance and education in college.

LELAND HAO, Week of Jan. 18, 2021
Leland Hao is a senior at Langley High School, where he has been very involved in their drama and music departments. He has studied voice with Peggy for three years and, during this time, he has performed in many student workshops and recitals! At Langley High School, Leland has participated in many Saxon Stage theatre productions, such as Mamma Mia! and Romeo and Juliet. Last summer he was involved in performances sponsored by Young Artists of America. In summers before 2020, he attended the Stage Door Manor Summer Theatre Workshops. Recently, Leland has been selected to perform in both VMEA Senior Honors Choir and in All-District Choir. Leland hopes to major in theatre in college. He loves to sing, dance, and act!


​JAYDEN LEE, Week of Jan. 11, 2021

Jayden Lee is a 13-year-old 8th grader at Cooper Middle School. He began lessons with Peggy in the 7th grade and has participated in two outdoor voice recitals since then. He is passionate about musical theatre and at one point had aspirations of being on Broadway! He loves to play the flute and is seriously considering a career as a flautist. In the fall of 2020, Jayden participated in the Northern Virginia Music Teachers Association (NVMTA) Musical Theatre Competition, where he received “honors.” His family quips that living with Jayden is like living with a radio “you can’t turn off”! He is either playing the flute or listening to someone play the flute, or he is either singing or listening to someone sing. In his spare time, Jayden enjoys playing chess and video gaming with his friends—all the while singing out loud.


​RYLEIGH HOAG, Week of Dec. 14, 2020
Ryleigh Hoag, a sophomore at Langley High School, has studied voice with Peggy since 8th grade. She has even managed to take online voice lessons during this pandemic while she was visiting her sister in Oklahoma. On August 31 and December 5, she soloed at our voice studio’s outdoor voice recitals. As a valued dancer with Encore Productions in Chantilly, Va., Ryleigh has performed in innumerable shows. Most recently she filmed and performed in their production of Home for the Holidays! In the summer of 2018, she travelled to Italy to perform with her Encore troupe, where they danced in theatres and in ancient ruins! Ryleigh has also studied piano since age 5, and while in elementary school, she accompanied their choral programs. This very talented 16-year-old also enjoys singing and playing her ukulele! 


VIHA CHAKRAPANI, Week of Nov. 23, 2020
Viha is a junior at James Madison High School in Vienna, Va., where she has been very active in their choral department. This year she is a member of the prestigious Madison Madrigals, and she is hoping that next year she will be able to sing in “live” performances with this select group of singers. Viha has studied voice with Peggy for over two years, and during this time she has participated in several voice recitals and workshops. She competed in both the Virginia chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (VA NATS) auditions and in the Northern Virginia Music Teachers Association (NVMTA) Musical Theatre Competition, in which this past month she placed second in the senior high school division. Last summer she also competed in the virtual style Schmidt Vocal Arts competition. Besides her musical interests, Viha competes for the Madison varsity tennis team, and she is president and co-founder of her school’s Girls Who Code Club. She is also vice president of Madison’s Chemistry Club, and she is active in Girl Scouts of America, where she is soon to receive the Gold Award. In what spare time she has, Viha tutors elementary and middle school students in mathematics.


KIRA BROMBACHER, Week of Nov. 9, 2020
Kira Brombacher, a senior at James Madison High School in Vienna, began voice lessons with Peggy less than one year ago. During this time, she has been a very conscientious student, missing very few weeks of lessons during this pandemic time. Kira has enjoyed being a student at the Fairfax Academy and, last January, she performed in their production of A Chorus Line. Not only does Kira sing, but she also plays the viola and is a serious dancer and actress. She hopes to study acting in college.


SOPHIA RADER, Week of Oct. 19, 2020
Sophia Rader is 14 years old and an 8th grader at Kilmer Middle School. She has been singing in her school’s choirs since 5th grade. She has been studying voice with Ms. Peggy for about a year and loves it! Sophia has performed in several plays, is learning to play guitar, loves The Beatles, is in a Greek folk dance troupe, and loves art and sketching. During this time of pandemic challenges, Sophia has been able to continue her lessons in Peggy’s backyard (see photo at right), even during the rains! She performed in the August 30 outdoors recital!


​TRACY WAAGNER, Week of Oct. 5, 2020
Tracy Waagner, soprano, is a senior at McLean High School. She has studied private voice with Peggy for over four years and, during this time, she has developed her free, rich, beautiful voice. Tracy has also benefitted from taking summer classes at not only Interlochen Academy but also at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. This past summer she participated in the Washington National Opera Institute, where she took classes in Italian diction and studied voice with Robert Cantrell. Tracy studied violin as a young person, and this training has given her an excellent background in music. Tracy placed first in our Northern Virginia Music Teachers Association (NVMTA) Beginning High School Voice Achievements Competition in spring 2019. She also placed second in the McDonald Music Competition sponsored by the McLean Community Center. She was in the finals of this same competition this past year. This young singer also received “honors” in our State National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Auditions in spring 2019. She is a fine musician, outstanding singer, fine dancer, and highly intelligent student. She is singing in Italian, French, and German, and she is only 17 years old. Her vocal repertoire is extensive. Tracy is a wonderful young student, and she will certainly be missed as she leaves for college next year. 


ELISE McCLOREY, Week of Sep. 21, 2020
Elise began voice lessons with Peggy in early June and she has worked hard and been prepared for each lesson. Elise is a freshman at Trinity School at Meadowview. She has been singing in choirs since she attended kindergarten. She has sung with the Cantus Choir of Choralis for seven years and is a member of her school’s “chorale.” Elise is also a ballet dancer, and studies at Cuppetts Performance Arts Center. She is the youngest of four children and has three older brothers.

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