Portrait of a Graduate: Finn O’Sullivan
Finn O’Sullivan performing at the Boulder International Film Festival Drive-In, 2020
In 2016, Finn won the eTown Handmade Songs Competition and she has been recording on her own and with producers ever since. She released her first LP, When the Power Comes Back On, in 2020. The title song won the grand prize in the folk category of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest. She is currently pursuing a singer-songwriter/music business double major at The University of Colorado Denver.
Finn attended Jarrow from Kinder through 6th grade. She met her best friends here, and, as she put it, was a ‘very shy kid. “In Upper Elementary, I really found my voice and my confidence. The support I received from my teachers and classmates really helped to foster my creativity and coming into myself. I remember our 6th grade musical, The Wizard of Oz. We had the opportunity to do everything, act, make the set, and do the choreography on our own. I volunteered to play Dorothy. It was my first theatrical performance.”
She picked up her first guitar at age 12 and hasn’t put it down since. In addition to guitar, Finn plays ukulele and piano, and her sound and style and voice have been compared to such artists as Regina Spektor, dodie, and Phoebe Bridgers. She says that songwriting is a way for her to express herself and talk about things that are important to her, which is sometimes hard for her to do in everyday conversation. She is “committed to creating things that other people can relate to,” and her songs are a testament to this commitment. Keep up the great work Finn!!!
Watch an interview and short performance by Finn here.
Portrait of a Graduate: JP Gritton
JP Gritton attended Jarrow Montessori from the time he was 2 until graduation in 6th grade. His new book WYOMING is receiving lots of acclaim and he is currently touring the country when he has time away from teaching creative writing at Duke University.
When you ask how his Montessori education at Jarrow impacted him, he has a lot to say….
“At Jarrow, if you had a passion, you were allowed to pursue it, and not just allowed, but encouraged. From a very young age, I loved to write. Ellen Drury, my teacher, was one of the best teachers I have ever had and she really encouraged me. In 6th grade, we read Crime and Punishment, and it wasn’t until one of my dissertation committee members said that my novel reminded him of Crime and Punishment that I realized how much it had infused how I write. Jarrow laid this very powerful groundwork for me.”
Gritton is the recipient of Cynthia Woods Mitchell fellowship, a DisQuiet fellowship and the Inprint Donald Barthelme prize in fiction. His stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Black Warrior Review, Greensboro Review, New Ohio Review, Southwest Review, Tin House, and elsewhere. His translations of the work of Brazilian writer Cidinha da Silva have appeared in InTranslation. Keep up the good work JP!!!
Read more about JP Gritton at jpgritton.com.
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