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ABOUT CHARLOTTE

Praised by her colleagues for her “captivating and impactful” musicianship and for her “outstanding commitment to high-quality teaching,” Charlotte Ouellette is dedicated to promoting justice and equity through music and music education. Her thoughtful work with students and her teacher colleagues shows that nothing is impossible when teachers care about their students and set high expectations for them.

 

Originally from northern Vermont, Charlotte is now the director of the SciTech Band Program at the High School of Science and Technology (SciTech) in Springfield, Massachusetts, where she co-directs the SciTech Concert Band, Jazz Band, Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, and the IGNITE Mentoring Through Music Program (MTM). Under Charlotte’s direction, the SciTech Band has been asked to perform at numerous community music festivals, inauguration ceremonies, awards ceremonies, graduation ceremonies, community gatherings, mentoring conferences, international fairs, nursing homes, and local school assemblies. In fall 2019, the band performed for hundreds of educators at the Leading with Access & Equity Conference through the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. In the past, SciTech Band students received a personal letter from President Barack Obama praising them for “dreaming big dreams and improving [their] community.” The SciTech Band has also been recognized for its strong student leadership team, for which Charlotte is currently developing and compiling an official curriculum.

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Charlotte’s passion for justice and equity stemmed from her summer mission experience to Southeast Asia in 2018. Upon learning about the horrors of sex trafficking and the systemic nature of poverty, Charlotte became determined to use her career to promote justice and equity. Following this summer mission experience, Charlotte completed her senior honors thesis through the UMass Commonwealth Honors College titled The Role of Classical Music in the Face of Social and Political Injustice. Her senior recital in 2019, as part of her project, featured pieces that related to issues of social and political injustice, including the premiere of an arrangement of “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen” for solo clarinet and brass quintet, arranged specifically for the project by friend and music colleague Brian Martin.

Charlotte’s love for music has revealed itself through a diverse array of outlets, styles, and opportunities throughout her life and career. As a music education and clarinet performance major at UMass Amherst, Charlotte performed with the UMass Wind Ensemble, the UMass Symphony Band, the UMass Symphony Orchestra, as well as the wind quintet "Late Night at FAC" and other instrumental chamber groups. She has also performed with the Windham Chamber Orchestra and regularly performs with the Valley Winds. In the spring of 2019, Charlotte was a featured soloist in Worcester Schubertiade’s “Celebration of Youth” concert series as a winner of the organization’s annual Classical Idol Competition.

Aside from her versatile clarinet playing, Charlotte has been writing original songs for guitar, piano, and vocals since middle school. Songwriting continues to be a key part of Charlotte’s work as a musician today, and she plans to record and release a selection of her original songs in 2022. When she is not teaching or making music, Charlotte can be found taking walks in the woods, perusing small towns and coffee shops through western Massachusetts and New England, maintaining her small photography business, and serving and spending time with her church family.

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