Soprano Emilee Eastman is this season's recipient of the Fassett Fellowship. Originally from Rhode Island, Emilee is a graduate of American University in Washington DC, where she participated in her college chorus and other groups in the DC area. She received her early vocal training from the Rhode Island Children’s Chorus, which she joined in 2006. She is now a senior staff member of RICC, assisting with the intermediate chorus in her hometown of Lincoln. Emilee is a nationally-ranked fencer and enjoys rock climbing. She is employed at Fidelity Investments as a Senior Associate in Social Media.
About the Fassett Fellowship
The Charles K. Fassett Fund was established by the Providence Singers in May 1995 as a permanent tribute to Charles Fassett’s twenty-two seasons as artistic director. With initial gifts totaling $2,500, the Fassett Fund was announced to the Singers’ membership and friends and presented to Charlie during a farewell reception on May 13, 1995.
The Fassett Fund was created to enhance the quality of the Singers’ musical program by supporting a variety of special projects not normally included in the Singers’ operating budget. Examples would include, but not be limited to, commissioning new works for chorus or initiating special recording projects. In addition to supporting enhancements to the musical program, the Fassett Fund may also support activities that would sustain or improve the group’s general level of musicianship, such as providing support for the Fassett Fellows (see below), reaching out to young musicians in schools or bringing in a choral clinician for the musical development of the members.
The Fassett Fellows
As a conductor and music educator, Charles Fassett often expressed his concern that a way must be found to sustain general musical literacy and musicianship, including the performance of choral music. It was becoming somewhat of a risk, he observed, for music educators to program complex musical works, including works in languages other than English, even for college choirs. Where, he often wondered, would groups like the Providence Singers find younger voices to maintain their numbers and their musical quality?
The Fassett Fellows program is a modest response to Charlie’s concerns. As part of its normal recruitment efforts, the Singers will attempt to identify high school and college-age choral singers or recent college graduates who have participated in choral organizations and are looking for an organization through which to continue their interests. Candidates for Fassett Fellowships must be admitted to active membership in the Providence Singers through the regular audition process. As fellows, their first year’s dues will be paid by the Fassett Fund and they will receive special designation in concert programs.
Non-renewable, one-year Fassett Fellowships are intended to provide the Singers with a recruitment tool that will help identify, attract, and retain good young singers and so sustain the group’s mission and musical quality over the years.