Martha Thatcher National Society of Collegiate Scholars Washington D.C. Featured Composer/Artist 2015 Oregon Center for the Arts Southern Oregon University
2013 Malibu Coast Youth Scholar With an Emphasis in Classical Theatre, Comedy, and the Vocal Arts
2013 Coulston Coast Internship Program Scholarship Recipient
Malibu Coast Scholarship String Quartet Violinist
Featured Young Composer 2013-14 Kairos Musical Soirees Malibu Friends of Music
Edgar Allan Poe Award for Excellence in the Written Word
Malibu Music Award 2012 Young Artist of the Year
Martha Thatcher, MAHMA's 2013 Intern, has been a consistent and dedicated community youth leader since she moved to Malibu at 5 years of age. Ever respected by her teachers and peers from every walk of life, Martha has garnered multiple awards, commendations and recognition in the visual arts, instrumental music performance (violin and percussion), solo vocal music performance, choral music performance (on the international level), the written word, music composition and poetry, classical and modern dance, humanitariansim, stand-up comedy, and her career of choice: Theatre. Her studies, dedication, skills, and accomplishments in these many facets of the arts world, have earned her respect in the local Malibu community, as well as across the United States.
Martha first read, Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone, when she was just in Kindergarten, and it was then that her imagination soared to the heavens. There was no stopping her once she realized that she could live her life doing exactly what made her happy!
Since then, Martha has earned the lead roles of "Doralee" in 9 to 5; "Melpomene" in Xanadu; "Peaches" in the Red Velvet Cake War; "The Master" & "Ruta Skadi" in His Dark Materials; "Uncle" & "the Cow" in E.B. White's social commentary: Charlotte's Web; as well as multiple lead roles in the ensemble-driven, TheLaramie Project, for Malibu High School's renowned Theatre Arts Department. Martha depicted "Mrs. Lovett" in Sweeney Todd, as well as "The Red Queen" from Alice in Wonderland this past summer at the Westside Performing Arts Center in Omaha, Nebraska. The diversity within these roles point to Martha's capability of portraying highly varied characters as she "becomes" each of the said characters with seeming ease, skill and extraordinary believeability.
This July 2013, Martha sang the title role of, "Cinderella," in the acclaimed World Premiere Performances of composer Maria Newman's new musical score for the 1914 Mary Pickford Silent Drama, Cinderella, joined by the Omaha Conservatory Cinema Orchestra, under the baton of Scott Hosfeld. September 2013 marked a hallmark vocal and dance performance with the Mystique Orchestra Band, as Martha opened for entertainment legend, Dick Van Dyke, at Legacy Park in Malibu, California. In July 2012, Martha headlined with the Sierra Symphony Pops Orchestra at Convict Lake, singing works by Randy Newman and Jason Robert Brown. In May 2011, Martha again headlined for the Mystique Orchestra World Tour at the Warner Grand Theatre in Los Angeles. Prior to High School, Martha sang "Maria" in The Sound of Music; and "Ado Annie" in Oklahoma; in addition to many character roles.
Instrumentally speaking, Martha has served as concertmistress of the Malibu Middle School Orchestra, Principle Second of the Malibu Coast Youth Symphony, and is a founding member of the Malibu Coast Scholarship String Quartet. She performs regularly as Principal Percussionist with the Malibu Coast Silent Film Orchestra (MCSFO), and has toured nationally with this ensemble. Again, with the MCSFO, Martha performed at the Annenberg Beach House in December 2011, in a world premiere performance of a new musical score for the 1927 silent classic, Quality Street, (starring the inimitable Marion Davies). In March 2013, Martha performed inside Historic Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California, as Principle Percussionist of the MCSFO in the world-premiere performance of a new musical score accompanying rare silent film footage shot in 1924 entitled, Short and Spicy Skits from the Other Side of Hollywood: The Home Movies of William Randolph Hearst (See Maria Newman, imdb). Introduced by W. R. Hearst III, the peformance took place in Hearst's Private Theatre inside the historic monument.
Vocally speaking, Martha has sung with the National Honor Choir, the California State Honor Choir, as well as the Southern California Honor Choir, and has been invited to perform with the International Honor Choir in London, England. As President of the Malibu High School Chamber Singers, High School Chorale, Girl's Select Choir and the Middle School Chorale, Martha is scheduled to perform with the Chamber Singers at the famed Carnegie Hall in New York City this March 2014. Martha also serves as Choir President and Soloist of the Malibu Coast Youth Choir, acting regularly as cantor in the Sacred Vespers Concerts at St. Aidan's Episcopal Church. Her gorgeous recorded performance as, "The Cantor," in Maria Newman/Louise Moss Montgomery's, A Little Book of Southern Carols, can be heard on the Montgomery Arts House Modern Masterworks label CD: A Holiday Festival of Music and Light. This moving album also features some of our era's most respected concert artists performing alongside Martha, and is available from iTunes, CD Baby, Amazon, and from a number of additional vendors.
As a long standing member of the Malibu Coast Chamber Balle,t under the direction of Adriana Fiori, (who provided original choreography for four 21st century ballets premiered at MAHMA, the Malibu Civic Center and Malibu City Hall), Martha has danced the solo roles of, "El Toro," in Oscar Wilde's, The Birthday of the Infanta; "La Coyota," "The Mexican Dancer," & "The Fish," in Celebraciaones de la Tierra; "The Raindrop" in Colores de Mexico; "Phamphiona," in Mary De Morgan's, Lamorna Variations; and, "The Child," in Robert Browning's, The Pied Piper.
Despite this busy activity, Martha is an "A" student, and has been recognized on multiple occassions by the ROP (Regional Occupational Program). As a First Prize Winner Martha has competed at the District and Local Levels for the Rotary and Kiwanis Vocal Music Competitions in Malibu, Santa Monica, and Greater Los Angleles.
Awarded the prestigious 2012 Malibu Music Award for "Most Accomplished Young Musician," Martha has also been recognized and commended with the Edgar Allan Poe Award for outstanding achievement in the area of the written word. She is currently producing her original 4-episode Radio Play Mini-Series, entitled, The Inbetween. The work will premiere as a Webcast in March 2014.
Martha has been a multiple grand-prize winner of the National PTA-sponsored ReflectionsCompetition, "Visual Arts Prize," in all of her respective age groups, from early elementary school onward, and has received high written praise from the Visual Arts Faculty at Pepperdine University for her efforts. Martha's visual arts pieces are regularly featured on the CD covers of Montgomery Arts House Modern Masterworks label CD releases, and may be viewed on iTunes, Amazon, as well as many additional online vendors.
Martha has served as a member of the Eastern Sierra Symphony Orchestra, the Malibu Coast Youth Symphony, the Omaha Conservatory Festival Orchestra, the Dorian Sinfonia Orchestra at Luther College, and in addition to her studies in voice, violin, and percussion, also studies piano, theory and music composition. As a composer, Martha recently presented the World Premiere performance of her haunting original vocal work, Balthazar's Song from The Inbetween, at the Kairos Musical Soirees - Montgomery Arts House for Music and Architecture Series this October 30th and 31st, 2013. Her original song, Cabin of Umbrellas, was premiered this past summer in Omaha, Nebraska.
As a Stand-up Comedian, Martha earned, "Best Overall Act " in Malibu High School's popular "Masque 2013" Series. Similarly, Martha served as "Master of Ceremonies" for the Malibu Coast Music Festival this past August and September at MAHMA in Malibu, California. The following prose is excerpted from the programs of the 2013 Malibu Coast Music Festival:
As the 2013 Couston Coast Intern Scholarship Recipient, Martha Thatcher has been named the 2013 Malibu Coast Music Festival Youth Scholar. Following in the footsteps of predecessors Zena Kesselman (now a Freshman at Princeton University), Jaclyn Coronado Newman (winner of a Golden Reel Award for her Music Editing in the motion picture, Burlesque), and David Dorn (Winner of multiple BMI Film Composition Awards), Ms. Thatcher spent the summer of 2013 participating in the Oregon Shakespeare Festival Seminar as one of only a very few students selected worldwide.
Each MCMF Youth Scholar, in addition to accruing knowledge about the multitudinous responsibilities of running a non-profit arts organization, must create a personal project based around a chosen field. While Mr. Dorn and Ms. Coronado Newman created their MCMF subject curriculum based on music orchestration, notation, arrangement and composition; and Ms. Kesselman around the specialized study of ethnomusicology, Ms. Thatcher is appearing as the MCMF 2013 Master of Ceremonies in conjunction with a concentration in Theatre and Drama.
The Malibu Friends of Music is extremely proud of the progress and success of its former, as well as its current MCMF Scholars, and looks to continue working with young people to further their chosen careers in the arts.
--- Board of Directors, Malibu Friends of Music
It is Martha's desire to engender interest and appreciation for different areas and eras of the arts to her fellows, and she is grateful for the opportunity to begin her professional career under the umbrella of the Montgomery Arts House for Music and Architecture and the Malibu Friends of Music, alongside and under the guidance of its seasoned and venerable artists of great renown.
2012 Recipient: Zena Kesselman
Congratulations to You, Zena, in your first semester at Princeton University!
2012 Coulston Coast Internship Program Scholarship Recipient
2012 Malibu Coast Music Festival Youth Scholar with an Emphasis in Ethnomusicology Co-Founder of Full Moon Music Festival
Founder of Musicophilia
Co-Founder of Bartok Fiendz Concertmaster and Soloist Malibu High School Orchestra
2012 National Merit Scholar Finalist
Zena Kesselman, MAHMA's 2012 Intern, has been making waves in the Malibu community ever since she moved to the seaside town when she was nine. Her studies in her principal instrument, violin, have given her a unique and respected position in the Malibu music scene. Concertmistress duties began in 6th grade as a newly arrived middle-schooler who earned her place at the head of the class.
Since then, Zena has led Malibu High School's Orchestras for four years out of seven. In addition, she has been concertmistress of the Zuma Ensemble and the Malibu High Pit Orchestra, Assistant Concertmistress of the Malibu Coast Youth Symphony, and a founding member of the Malibu Coast Youth String Quartet. Zena's important roles include the privilege of serving as concert soloist on many occasions for both the multi award-winning MHS Orchestra and the MHS Concert and Chamber Choir, most recently in a full performance of Vivaldi's famous violin concerto, Spring.
Despite all this busy musical activity, Zena maintains a 4.0 GPA and a position as varsity captain of the softball team. Zena's work as a young musician was recognized when, as a Freshman, she was awarded the prestigious 2009 Malibu Music Award for Most Accomplished Young Musician. Recognized by the Optimist Club for her outstanding academic acheivement, Zena has also been a multiple award winner of the PTA sponsored ReflectionsCompetition Creative Writing Prize.
Zena has served as a member of the Chelan Bach Festival Orchestra, and in addition to violin, studies banjo, ukulele, piano, accordion, guitar and voice. As a composer, she debuted her award-winning original work for banjo, voice and two cellos at the popular Malibu High School "Masque Concert Series," to high audience and critical praise. A number of Zena's recently recorded collaborative violin performances may be heard on iTunes, (Composition Collegue Tanner Porter's, The Child Wrote a Poem).
As MAHMA's Coulston Coast Intern Scholarship Recipient, Zena hopes to bring ethnomusicology, the study of the music of different cultures, to the public. An aspiring ethnomusicologist herself, Zena has already delved into this highly competitive field with a passion. She is the founder of Musicophilia, a music-listening club which has brought an increased musical awareness to her colleagues. Zena is also a founding member and performer in the Bartok Fiendz, created as a tribute to the great ethnomusicologist, Bela Bartok. It is one of her greatest wishes to engender interest and appreciation for different classes and eras of music to her fellows, and she is grateful for the opportunity to commence her career in the world renowed Montgomery Arts House for Music and Architecture.