WindSync Wins 2022 Ann Divine Educator Award


Notre Dame, IN (March 9, 2022) – The Fischoff National Chamber Music Association is delighted to announce that WindSync has been selected as the winner of Fischoff’s 2022 Ann Divine Educator Award. This national award recognizes the educational outreach work of Fischoff Competition alumni who have demonstrated outstanding and imaginative programming for children and youth in the United States. It honors musicians who have established professional careers in chamber music, and have proven their ability to successfully build a career in both chamber music performance and educational outreach.

Named in honor of longtime Fischoff Executive Director Ann Divine who retired in 2018, this award recognizes her visionary leadership in cultivating community outreach through chamber music. As winner of the Ann Divine Educator Award, WindSync will receive a coveted endorsement from Fischoff, a cash award, and a weeklong residency in St. Joseph and Elkhart Counties in November 2022 to conduct workshops and masterclasses, and to perform interactive concerts in schools, community centers and libraries. The week will include performances of Fischoff’s flagship Stories and Music: S.A.M. I Am program in area schools, which musically reenacts a children’s book and will be featured as part of the St. Joseph County Library’s Explore-A-Story program. WindSync will work with Fischoff’s Chamber Music Academy and Elkhart County’s El Sistema (ECoSistema) students to further introduce chamber music to new audiences, particularly children and teens who would otherwise not have access to these opportunities.

This past November, Fischoff’s S.A.M. I Am featured the fall favorite Creepy Carrots for second graders across Michiana. Over 650 students in under-resourced schools in South Bend, Elkhart and Goshen participated in this transformational reenactment intended to help teachers bridge the learning gap after more than a year of virtual or hybrid learning. “Through a terrific partnership with Scholastic Books, not only were we able to present each classroom with a copy of Creepy Carrots, but every student also received a paperback copy of this Caldecott winning book as a gift to take home. Teachers have reported that after participating in our fun musical reenactment, students were genuinely excited to re-read the story on their own, devouring Creepy Carrots during independent reading time and sharing the book with their families,” reported Lisa Casey, Fischoff Board member and Education Committee Chair. Casey went on to remark, “We can’t wait to present S.A.M. I Am again with WindSync.”

WindSync, comprised of Garrett Hudson (flute), Emily Tsai (oboe), Elias Rodriguez (clarinet), Kara LaMoure (bassoon) and Anni Hochhalter (horn) has established itself as a vibrant chamber ensemble performing wind quintet masterworks, adapting beloved music to their instrumentation, and championing new works by today’s composers. The quintet creates an intimate connection between themselves and their audience by often performing from memory, and is “staunchly dedicated to pushing the boundaries of wind quintet performance with a youthful, pop-rock sensibility.” This personal performance style is combined with the ensemble’s three-pronged mission of artistry, education, and community-building.

WindSync’s educational work includes tour stops at public schools and ongoing collaborations with the social music programs Sistema Ravinia and Houston Youth Symphony Coda Music Program.  They have been featured in educational concerts presented by the Seattle Symphony, the Hobby Center, and Orli Shaham's "Bach Yard.” Their concerts for young people reach over 5,000 students per year.

WindSync has appeared in recital at the Met Museum, Ravinia, Shanghai Oriental Arts Center, and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. World premieres include “The Cosmos,” a concerto for wind quintet and orchestra by Pulitzer finalist Michael Gilbertson, and works by Mason Bynes, Ivan Trevino, John Steinmetz, Marc Mellits, Erberk Eryilmaz, and Akshaya Avril Tucker. Forthcoming commissions include new works for wind quintet by Viet Cuong and Nathalie Joachim.

Fischoff Executive Director Kara Kane, and the entire Fischoff team, are excited for the return of WindSync to South Bend and the surrounding Michiana area. “WindSync took Fischoff by storm in 2016 with their unforgettable performances garnering them our Gold Medal. They returned presenting their imaginative rendition of “Peter and the Wolf” along with other educational outreach, and blew away our audiences. The past five years they have grown both in breadth and depth, delving into the intersections of science, technology and art, all the way to one of their newest commissions celebrating their Texas roots in Two Stepping. We are thrilled to be able to share the talents of WindSync with our community and have some wonderful surprises in store. They are an ensemble who perfectly epitomizes the creative power Fischoff’s chamber music ambassadors live and breathe.”

Anni Hochhalter, hornist and Executive Director of WindSync responded that “Winning gold at the 2016 competition was instrumental to the success of WindSync’s career as touring concert artists and Ann Divine quickly became one of our most important mentors as community-driven teaching artists. We are honored to have been selected by the Fischoff National Chamber Music Association for this award and look forward to creating and presenting new programming in the fall inspired by Ann’s vision for education and community engagement.”

Fischoff's Educator Award Residency is generously made possible by Lead Sponsor The Judd Leighton Foundation, Inc.

Visit our Educator Award page for more info.