William McGregor has had an incredible journey here at PALCS, which was recently covered in his Student Spotlight. However, this soon-to-graduate double bass player’s high school journey is not over just yet. William has been nominated as a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, an honor which only 60 students in the entire country receive.

As a YoungArts Finalist, William was invited to Miami for a week to participate in master classes and performances with fellow finalists. His mother, Nancy, explains, “it was such an honor for him to experience YoungArts, and he really grew as a musician, and made SO MANY new friends! It was a week where he was booked from morning until late at night, and he had such a great time, collaborating, and learning from amazing coaches.” While in Miami, the finalists were re-evaluated by a panel of judges who awarded William a Level One Award and nominated him for the Presidential Scholars in the Arts Award.

William’s senior year has been going great, although it has not been easy. He has been busy applying to both conservatories and colleges, while also maintaining his senior year grades. After making it through two separate rounds of applications and deadlines, the auditions began.

In February alone, William had four auditions and appeared on NPR’s national radio show, From the Top, in Boston, Massachusetts. “It was amazing! He got to rehearse, record in front of a live packed audience at Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory, and then spend a day doing community service at a school in the area. The show will air the week of March 18,” said Nancy.

William, a member of the blended University Scholars Program here at PALCS, first enrolled when he was in 5th grade. He began his double bass studies at age two and, in addition to his schooling and University Scholars participation, William has also attended the Juilliard Pre-College program in NYC for the past nine years. “There is NO way he could have accomplished what he has without the support of USP and the flexibility of his school,” praised Nancy.

In May of 2017, William won first place and the gold medal for the double bass at the 42nd Stulberg International String Competition. Last month, he had the opportunity to perform with the Grand Rapids Symphony, and in November 2018, William will be performing with the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra.

We are in awe of William and all of his accomplishments. One thing is crystal clear for this PALCS senior, Presidential Scholar Nominee, accomplished double bass player and hardworking individual: his future is bright. He has a passion for learning and music, particularly chamber music, solo performance and orchestra. William has even expressed an interest in teaching someday.

We would like to offer a special thank you to William and the McGregor’s for allowing PALCS to be a part of their journey and for always sharing their exciting stories and experiences with us.