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Matthew Vaughn Pooler

2024 Cello Festival

Matthew (age 17) is a Junior at Navarre High School, Navarre, Florida, and has been studying and performing on Cello and Piano for the past 7 years.  He currently trains under Dr. Aleksandra Pereverzeva, Adjunct Professor, University of West Florida (UWF), and Principal Cellist, Pensacola Symphony Orchestra, and Professor Blake Riley, Associate Professor and Director of Collaborative Piano, Dr. Grier Williams School of Music, UWF.  Matthew currently performs weekly as a cellist intern with the First Baptist Church Pensacola Orchestra.  In 2022 he was invited by Dr. Sheila Dunn, Associate Professor and Director, Dr. Grier Williams School of Music, UWF, to enroll in their Advanced Symphony Orchestra Course, where Matthew completed two semesters in this course study.  In 2023 he was accepted into UWF’s Dual-Enrollment Program, where he furthered his music education during their 2023-2024 Fall and Spring Semesters (Dean’s List).  He is an A-Honor Roll Student from Navarre High School, and was recently inducted into their Chapter of the National Honor Society.

     Matthew has received annual scholarships from 2019 – 2023 to participate in the UWF Stringfest and UWF Piano Week, both advanced summer weekly study and performance programs.  In May 2022 Matthew also received a Summer Music Camp Scholarship from Choctaw Bay Music Club, Niceville, Florida. 

     He has performed in numerous competitions, most recently in the 2024 UWF Music Study Club Competition (Cello, 1st Place), the 2023 UWF Music Study Club competition (Piano, 1st Place), 2023 PMTA Concerto Competition (Strings Division (Cello) 1st Place, District 1, Sr. Level), and the 2023 PMTA Bill Jennings High School Music Sonata Contest (1st Place, Piano).  He was also a finalist in the 2023 John Leatherwood Concerto Competition (Strings, Cello).

     In July 2022, Matthew was accepted and invited to attend musical training at the InterHarmony Music Festival in Acqui Terme, Italy, to receive some of the best strings instruction available to students.  He took a Master Class under Cellist Misha Quint.  Their Strings Program is extensive, intensive, and unique, with the idea of an immersive musical environment allowing for optimal focus on artistic and technical development, studying with an internationally-recognized artist faculty, and meeting musical colleagues from around the globe.  It is designed with elements of the Russian school to boost students to the next level of playing.

     In 2023 Matthew volunteered and performed at two separate Benefit Concert for Ukraine events, raising funds for alittlemorehelp.org, a non-profit foundation supporting humanitarian efforts for the people of Ukraine. 

     For the second consecutive year Matthew has been recognized as a recipient of the Betty Coale Young Musician Scholarship with Cello, by Christ Church Cathedral, Mobile, Alabama.

     In October 2023, Matthew was selected for the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra Masterworks Youth Performance Program, performing multiple pieces at the Saenger Theatre, Pensacola, FL., prior to their season opening concert.