Violinist Caroline Goulding is not the average twenty year old. The Michigan native was nominated for a Grammy at 17, was the 2011 recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Grant, and has performed in venues across the globe - from The John F. Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall, to Beijing’s Forbidden City Concert Center.
“Her talent is tremendous,” Drostan Hall, director and founder of local chamber orchestra Camerata Chicago states. “She has a unique flow of artistry, and she is able to bring something new.” Goulding performed alongside Camerata Chicago in November as a part of the Wheaton College Artist Series.
Though the Artist Series began 62 years ago and has hosted more than 400 performances, the young artist in residence program was developed in 2009 as a way to engage students with the world renowned artists who come to campus.
Manager of the Artist Series, Dr. Tony Payne explains: “The Artist Series finds its home in the learning community of the undergraduates. We are trying to remind the students that these artists are there for them, as a resource to learn, to grow, to discover. It’s an exciting time to be engaging the arts at Wheaton because it’s a time of possibilities.” Bringing Goulding to campus to host master classes and interact with the students at the Conservatory is a part of this vision.
“My experience at Wheaton has been great,” Caroline says. “I’ve really enjoyed it. I’ve worked with students and have been able to talk to them and have meals with them. It’s a unique experience I really appreciate because I don’t do this all the time. I usually just go to a venue, play, and leave. It’s really nice to have this kind of community spirit. I think it’s important.”
Though well known for her technical and artistic ability, Goulding’s deep sense of humility saturated all of her interactions on Wheaton’s campus. “I always feel as if I’m talking to myself about things I should be working on,” she says, “so it’s always inspiring. And to see [students] react, that’s really something special. The teaching aspect really is wonderful, in addition to playing with wonderful musicians my age and older.”
Goulding’s week long residency included three performances with Camerata Chicago, including the Artist Series concert on Saturday evening at Edman Chapel. Her predecessors in the residency program include violinist Charlie Siem and cellist Joshua Roman. This spring, students will have the opportunity to interact with the Harlem String Quartet for a three-day residency with the Artist Series prior to their concert on March 22.