Iona Dowden ’25 Receives Honor Musician Award for Piano

Oak Knoll Student at Piano RecitalIona Dowden ’25 spent her third year attending the New England Music Camp this summer and was awarded the prestigious standing of Honor Musician. Located in Maine, the camp is dedicated to the cultivation and refinement of musical skills in young people while supporting their physical, emotional, and social well-being.

As expressed by the school’s leadership, “An Honor Musician is a student of exceptional musical caliber who makes use of their abilities to the fullest and who exhibits professional dedication through participation in and responsibility to camp music activities. Honor Musician Awards are made by the Music Faculty subject to administration approval; and are based primarily on musicianship and progress, with cooperation as a contributing factor.”

While attending the camp, Dowden performed in two Honor recitals, once as an accompanist to a bassoonist and once as a soloist. She also played and performed with three chamber groups.

“I am on track to major in Piano Performance in college and continue to play piano as part of my career,” explained Dowden. This year I was invited to play with the New Jersey Youth Symphony (NJYS) in their concert at the end of October. Playing with NJYS was a big goal of mine and I am so happy that l was given this opportunity. I am not playing the piano, but the Celesta, which is sort of like a smaller piano and has a more percussive sound.”

In addition to the New Jersey Youth Symphony, Dowden will also be playing new pieces with a piano trio she has assembled (piano, violin, and cello) and preparing for college auditions which take great preparation. 

“I’m also hoping to start a small jazz ensemble at Oak Knoll this year as jazz piano is a hobby of mine along with jazz saxophone, which I am currently learning,” Dowden shared. 

At Oak Knoll, we believe each person is created by God for an intended purpose. Students may find that purpose in the classroom, on stage, in the chemistry lab, or on the field. Congratulations, Iona, on finding yours and striking a chord in our community.