Shona Acquaye (bassoon, ‘21) serves as GTCYS Summer Database Intern

We love when our GTCYS alums return after graduation to further their work with us! From bassoonist to Database Assistant, alum Shona Acquaye (bassoon, ’21) has contributed her dedication and focus to GTCYS. Shona is once again joining us as our Summer Database Assistant, and she brings her data-savvy to ensure that we have the most accurate and up-to-date family information on file and to improve our mailing list processes. Shona played bassoon in Philharmonic and Symphony, and joined the 2022 Italy Tour with Symphony! Read more about Shona’s time with GTCYS and her summer role below. 

Shona plays the bassoon with symphony on stage.


What is your background with GTCYS?
I played with GTCYS in my last 2 years of high school in Philharmonic as a junior, and Symphony as a senior. My friend who recommended me to apply told me that “it’s like All-State, but every week”, and he was right! I loved being in Philharmonic because I’d not really had an intensive orchestral experience like this one as a woodwind player, and it was cool to be able to join a new community and quickly feel comfortable because we all had this one thing in common.   

 I took a gap year after graduating and worked on a few different projects as a GTCYS intern! It was then that Maestro (through Miranda :)) invited me to audition and play the contrabassoon with Symphony during the Spring Semester of 2022. Since my senior year was at the height of covid, I personally didn’t play all that much in Symphony during my senior year, so it was awesome getting to experience Symphony again.  

What are the highlights of your time with GTYCS? 

My top 2 highlights are: 

1). The bassoonists! If I do say so myself, it’s hard to find unlikeable bassoonists, and throughout my time GTCYS I have many fond memories of sharing jokes and unique bassoon humor with my section. 

2). Touring with Symphony to Southern Italy and Sicily. I honestly still can’t believe that I was given that opportunity. I so enjoyed getting to know other people in Symphony (including Maestro), and observing and experiencing Italian culture and cuisine on that trip; it was incredible!  

Shona poses in Italy with 3 friends.

What motivated you to continue to be involved? 

Last summer, I worked as a Summer Database Assistant with GTCYS, and I’m excited to be continuing my work with GTCYS again this summer! It was because of my internship with GTCYS over my gap year that I came to find out about this position. I loved being a part of GTCYS on the student side, so I became interested in how an organization like GTCYS was run. So now, I get to help a group of really efficient and kind people who are dedicated to making GTCYS a wonderful experience for students, another remarkable experience!  

Overall, my time as a student playing with GTCYS was incredibly rewarding, not only because of the wonderfully diverse group of people that I’ve gotten to make friends with,  but also because it’s not everyday that you get to play the contrabassoon at a music festival in Italy! And, to have been able to experience a new part of the world with a group of phenomenally talented and hardworking people was particularly lovely.  

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