Briarwood Academy junior Joseph Baldwin has moved from reaping accolades for his musical talents from the state level to international recognition.
Joseph is one of only 28 vocalists selected from among a field of international applicants selected to participate in a four week program in the area of opera/vocal study at the Interlochen (Michigan) Arts Camp, the world's premier summer arts program for aspiring artists in grades three through 12.
Joseph is joining such distinguished Interlochen almni in the field of music as opera soprano Jessye Norman, five-time Grammy winner Norah Jones, vocalist Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary and Josh Groban, "the voice of the century," according to Briarwood choral director Jeanie Joesbury, who added that "at this, he's going to meet literally the future stars in the country in opera, dance, theater and music -- the top people in the orchestras and the dance companies."
"He has definitely proven himself on the state level through two years in GMEA (Georgia Music Educators Association) All State Chorus and four years as a GMEA piano winner, and he's been invited to perform four years at the GMEA state convention as a winner in piano," Mrs. Joesbury continued. "His resume just keeps growing and growing."
Joseph, the son of Brian and Joann Baldwin of Washington, also was only one of 24 singers in the state who was selected to attend and attended the Georgia Governor's Honor's Program in voice last summer. He was also selected and participated in the Georgia Independent School Assoication All State Chorus for the past two years.
"While the other students were enjoying their Christmas break, Joseph was making a videotape to send to Interlochen for admittance," Mrs. Joesbury said.
Joseph performed the two songs with which he captured this year's GISA Region 1AA championship on videotape - O del mio dolce ardor by Christoph Willibald von Gluck and Papageno's aria from The Magic Flute by Mozart.
However, it is his dedication and overall accomplishments in all aspects of music that have led to the many honors he has received, according to Mrs. Joesbury, who noted that Joseph is "serious, serious pianist" and a two-time state champion in Georgia Independent School Association AA literary piano competition.
"What sets Joseph apart is his mathematical knowledge of music," Mrs. Joesbury said. "Miss Ruth Harris is to be commended for his rigorous training in piano, which helped prepare him for these auditions. She's certainly to be given tons of credit because she's taught him theory, and he's now performing at college level in theory. Everything he knows now, I learned in college. He could probably place out of (exempt) all college theory tests now."
Joseph takes private vocal lessons from Mrs. Patricia B. Burton, director of music at First Baptist Church in Washington, solo hand bell lessons from Mrs. Emilie Waters of Washington, and piano lessons from Miss Harris of Washington.
Interlochen Arts Camp, which is in its 78th year, attracts students, faculty and staff from all 50 U.S. states and more than 40 countries, according to a camp spokesperson.
"The world's most talented and motivated students (2,000) train intensively with world-class instructors and produce more than 400 presentation each summer in dance, theatre, creative writing, visual arts, and music," the spokesperson said. "Arts lovers, lifelong learners and the world's most talented and motivated young people are drawn to Interlochen from all over the country and all over the world to celebrate and create excellence in creative writing, dance, motion picture arts, music, theatre, visual arts and academics."
Interlochen Center for the Arts is located on a scenic, 1,200-acre campus 16 miles southwest of Traverse City, Michigan.