New directors take the Major Minors in a new direction


Photo Credit: Arman Azad

Dr. Scott and Mrs. Pramstaller are working in the choir room.

Sarah Pramstaller and Derek Scott are introducing the Flint Hill Major Minors to new ideas, new energy, and new sound as they take over the a cappella group’s directorial positions this year.

Pramstaller is also the choir director in both the Upper and Middle schools, and is well regarded by her students.

“I have been in choir with Ms. Pramstaller for the past two years,” said junior Hailey Corkery. “She’s not only one of my favorite teachers, but I [also] consider her a mentor.”

Scott directs the Upper and Middle school bands, but looks forward to also directing a group of familiar students outside the classroom.

“I think that what I am looking forward to the most is being able to work with students in a completely different setting than our normal curricular classes,” said Scott.

Scott has past experience with working with an a cappella group. While completing his Master’s degree at West Virginia University, he founded an a group called the MoTones, which is affiliated with Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, an all male music national fraternity.

“I was responsible for arranging our musical selections…and eventually took over as the director after the original director graduated,” he said. I did this for two years, and [after] I returned for my doctoral work, I was elected again to direct the group and arrange.”

Accordingly, members of Flint Hill vocal groups know him most for his skill at arranging music.

“Dr. Scott arranged a piece [in which choir participated] last year,” said sophomore Sonia Schmidt. “It was incredible!”

A cappella capitalizes on the spirit and enthusiasm of vocal performance, something directors and members recognize well.

“With a cappella groups, our primary function is to increase spirit and be the most visible aspect of our music program,” said Scott. “On top of this, the music that the Major Minors do is a direct reflection of our current musical culture. Some might thing that we are looking for vocal dynamos; but in truth, we are looking for students who have spirit and who can sell what they are singing.”

Another year brings fresh new faces, as well as returning members committed to continuing traditions from past years and creating new successes.

“I’m so excited for this year,” said Schmidt, who falls into the latter category. “The members seem so talented, and I’m really grateful to be part of such an amazing experience.”

Corkery, also a returning member, looks forward to taking on a leadership role as an upperclassman. Though all members will draw from years past, there is an air of optimistic ambition about the group, all anticipating a great new chapter.

“I think that while I miss the two directors from last year, Ms. Pramstaller and Dr. Scott will make excellent directors for our group. Not only are they great people, but they are [also] both extremely talented musicians with lots of experience with things such as performing, directing, and arranging.”