The American School in SwitzerlandThe American School in Switzerland
Exceptional Musician Carving His Own Path

Chapman Tennessee HildebrandChapman Tennessee Hildebrand ’17 (United States), the recipient of the 2017 Bertha Seifert Award for Excellence in Music, will pursue a degree in Music Industry Studies while also studying composition for media and film at Loyola University New Orleans. He was awarded the school’s largest merit scholarship.

Prior to starting his collegiate career, Tennessee will take a gap year to spend five months studying Italian and learning how to hand-craft violins at the internationally renowned Academia Cremonensis in Cremona, Italy, the city known as the home of violin makers Stradivarius, Amati, and Guarneri.

“Coming to TASIS as a boarding student for my senior year made me want to travel and learn much more about the world before I go to college,” he said. “Living in a dorm and being completely responsible for all that needs to get done has been an incredibly maturing process. And being in Europe has really opened my eyes to how much of the world I need to see still.”

Tennessee also plans to return to India for three months to continue the admirable work he did during his senior year as a member of the Gram Vikas Global Service Program group.

“Gram Vikas ignited a spark within me. I realized that every day I can do at least one thing to help other people or our planet.”

“Traveling to India was very inspiring and moving,” he said. “The trip completely submerged us into India's culture and way of life and influenced us all incredibly. Gram Vikas ignited a spark within me. I realized that every day I can do at least one thing to help other people or our planet. Whether that be teaching music or surfing for free or picking up trash on the beach at home, every day I have the opportunity to do something helpful for the world.”

Tennessee certainly made the most of his one year at TASIS. He played the viola, mandolin, and guitar and was a standout performer at the 2017 Spring Arts Festival, excelled in the classroom—citing Mr. Todd Matthew’s AP English Literature and Composition course and Ms. Marzia Lecci’s Italian 1 course as classes that were particularly fun and challenging—created a number of excellent short films as a member of the Journalism and Video Production Internship team, set many school and conference records as the MVP for both the Varsity Cross Country and Varsity Track and Field teams, and won a TASIS Magnificent Seven Award for Humility.

Tennessee’s brief but highly productive time in Switzerland has left an indelible mark. “I will miss Lugano,” he said. “There is something so fantastic about the towering green mountains that descend right into the deep blue lakes. I got to see the most beautiful view in the world and was grateful for it every day. I will miss running in the mountains, swimming in the lake, drinking the best coffee in the world after eating the most fantastic meal in the world, and seeing all the older Italian people who would say "Ciao" or "Buongiorno" as I walked by them.”


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