Middle School strings student Sam Caplan ’26 recently took top honors for his cello performance in the 2021 Great Composers series, one of only a handful of U.S. winners in this highly competitive international contest.
Sam took second place in his age group in the Masters of Concerto category for his performance of “Allegro” from Concertino in C major, Opus 7 by Julius Klengel.
Sam said that what started out as a fun part of his Lower School experience has become a true passion, and he’s appreciative of the instruction and experiences Ravenscroft’s robust strings program provides.
“I started playing cello eight years ago, when I was in kindergarten. It provides me with a creative outlet, and it’s something I’m considering as a career,” Sam said. “[Middle and Upper School Strings Director] Mrs. Kelly and the Fine Arts Department provide opportunities to practice playing with ensembles during the school day and help me build confidence playing in large groups. They also offer additional activities beyond orchestra, such as the Ravenscroft Concerto Competition and chamber music.”
“Sam is one of those very special young musicians whose heart, mind, work ethic and love of music all come together to produce a quite impressive performance product,” Pamela Kelly said. “It has been my great pleasure to see Sam embrace musical competitions with confidence and courage.”
In making the decision to participate in this global virtual competition, Sam said, “I wanted to gain the competitive experience and thought the Masters of Concerto contest would be a good way to prepare for future virtual submissions. I did not expect to place — and I screamed very loudly at the news!”
Sam’s advisor, Josh Gallagher, was also thrilled with the outcome. “Sam is a wonderful young man and very talented,” he said.
“Sam is an asset to our strings program,” Kelly concluded. “He inspires his fellow players to higher levels of achievement and emulates many facets of our Lead From Here framework in the process.”
Watch the video of Sam’s performance submission here.