Graduating Hartford High School senior, Natalie Charron, is known throughout the Quechee area by many different people in various facets. She had grown up running around the Quechee Club. Natalie spent hours swimming and skiing, and at 15 she began working as a hostess there, later becoming a health desk attendant. Most who have spent time at The Club have run across Natalie and, rumor has it, simply adore her.
Her love of music
Natalie is an accomplished musician. She began playing the piano at the age of 7 and stopped when at 10 she picked up the saxophone in the fifth grade. “We were starting band, and they were demonstrating all the instruments and the saxophone just seemed the coolest,” Natalie says about her choice in learning a new instrument. “I loved the way it sounded, and I knew that I could use it to play a lot of the music that I enjoy listening to, such as rock and jazz. I enjoy listening to Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington, and Benny Goodman – even though he’s a clarinetist,” she says.
While she didn’t stop playing the piano, the saxophone has remained her primary instrument throughout middle and high school band. Natalie has also been very active in honors ensembles. In sixth grade, she began auditioning for the district band festivals and, not only was accepted that year, but has made it every year since. She has also participated in the All-State Band Festival for the past three years, the All-New England Festival at Plymouth State University in Plymouth, New Hampshire, for the past two years, the New England Music Festival Association or NEMFA this previous year, and the district jazz band for the past two years. “Auditioning for and participating in these festivals has been a great experience in which I get to play challenging music and work with talented students and conductors. I look forward to them every year,” she says.
Natalie is applying to music programs at Northeastern University, Boston University, Ithaca College, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and the University of Vermont as she hopes to continue playing the saxophone after college as well. I asked her if she was excited about graduating and heading to college, and she answered with an enthusiastic “yes!”
One thing she is looking forward to is finding others who want to create a jazz band as she hasn’t had that experience yet. Natalie would like to continue playing her sax in jazz bands as much as possible. Also, she is looking forward to “just more people. More people around, more things going on.” As someone who grew up in the Upper Valley, I can entirely relate!
Volunteering at the Montshire
Others may recognize Natalie from seeing her play her saxophone during one of her favorite Upper Valley summer activities, volunteering at the Montshire Museum of Science. Every summer since she turned 15, Natalie has been a volunteer helper with the preschool camps. She has a lot of fun helping with both the Nature Camp where preschoolers get to explore and observe local plants and animals as well as the Science Camp where the kids get to play with predictions and experiments. “I’ve loved volunteering at the Montshire. I get to work with children and have the opportunity to help teach them,” she says.
With everything that Natalie is involved in, she will likely be a missed presence in the Upper Valley, particularly in the Quechee area, when she leaves for college. “It’s been wonderful growing up in an area with so many great people around who have been so kind and friendly to me. I’m grateful for the opportunities that have been presented to me while living here, such as learning to ski, attending The Quechee Club summer camp when I was younger, working at The Quechee Club, and volunteering at the Montshire Museum” she says.
I just have one suggestion for The Quechee Club before Natalie heads off to college – maybe a going away jazz recital is in order?