Mable Windsor-Buchanan puts art at the forefront of everything she does.
The recent North Carroll High School graduate has been dipping her hand in all mediums of artistic expression for her entire life. Now, at 18, her art, which has helped propel her forward both creatively and academically, has led her to be accepted into the inaugural class of the Dorsey Scholars Program -- with full tuition, room and board -- at McDaniel College this fall. She graduated with a 4.0 GPA.
At North Carroll, Windsor-Buchanan was a drum major and section leader performing in the pit orchestra, wind ensembles and chorus. While her background is in wind instruments -- she plays the clarinet -- Windsor-Buchanan is teaching herself to play the guitar and keyboard.
Windsor-Buchanan, of Westminster, also expresses herself through theater and writing. She wrote and directed her own play at North Carroll High School and helped form a drama club at Hampstead Elementary School.
She has received several awards and honors for her writing abilities. Windsor-Buchanan awarded the Silver Key from the state of Maryland for her poetry and during her junior year received the Scholastic Alliance of Young Artist and Writers Award.
caught up with Windsor-Buchanan on her plans to major in English in the fall, which she says would allow her to marry her love of creative writing with a more substantial professional career, and her eventual plans to tackle a career in criminal law.
Q: How do you believe your creativity has propelled you forward academically?
I think some subjects, especially English, social studies and world languages, got easier the more willing I was to think outside the box. It's definitely been an advantage when trying to write essays, speeches, or debates. Plus, thinking creatively always makes everything more fun!
Q: During grade school, how did you balance your creative aspirations with academics?
I've always enjoyed writing in my free time, whether I was writing short stories, poetry or even drama as I got older, but as time passed it got increasingly easier to incorporate the creative side of things into academics. I'm lucky that my kind of creativity is so applicable to English, music and theater, and I'm so thankful that all of my teachers have been so encouraging when it came to creativity. They have made it so that music, theater and English were always something I could incorporate into classes instead of something I had to restrain, and that has been one of the main reasons why I've enjoyed my time in school so much.
Q: Between music, theater and writing, which art form do you enjoy the most and why?
This is such a hard question! I think that writing is probably the art form that I'm most talented at and most likely to be able to work into my career, but my favorite times are actually those when I can combine all three, like when I'm writing something for the stage or on the keyboard or relating music to a story.
Q: How did you become interested in artistic expression? Did your parents introduce you? Did you take an acting class?
When I was little, my parents taught me to read and took me to Kindermusic, which always encouraged me to enjoy the arts. I was involved in church pageants, and I was involved in drama at the Carroll Arts Council and I went to theater daytime summer classes in elementary school, but my first actual show was "Oklahoma!" at North Carroll. Also, it's definitely true that when I was little, the more I read, the more I wanted to write. Second grade was when I first really focused on trying to write poetry, and that was the year of my first published poem, "The Messy Room." After that, as I became more and more involved in writing and music in school, the arts became more and more important to me. Now they're a huge part of my life.
Q: What prompted you to begin working with the theater program at Hampstead Elementary School?
Working with the elementary schoolers in Hampstead Elementary's theater program was incredibly fun. The kids in that program are so genuinely excited to put on a show and they're just a joy to work with. Plus, they're really talented. The first years that the program started, my drama teacher at North Carroll, Mrs. Gore, cooperated with the Hampstead Elementary vocal music teacher, Ms. Ready, to put together spoofs of the "Goldilocks" story and "Peter Pan," and I've been lucky to have the chance to help them and work with the kids to make the stories come to life.
Q: You wrote and directed your first play at North Carroll High School. What was that play about?
That was so exciting! That was my one-act Nancy Drew musical, which I called "River Heights." When I was little I absolutely adored the Nancy Drew series, so I tried to write a children's show for our winter one-acts last year that pulled in everything I loved from the original series when I was little along with a silly comedic side that grown-ups would appreciate. I roped in plots from eight different mysteries, so the plot was pretty complicated, but in short it featured the original gang of Nancy, Ned, Bess and George -- with the expert assistance of Frank and Joe Hardy -- wrapping up mysteries, thinking about the future and solving the mysteries surrounding the dubious Larkspur Lane and its delightfully evil antagonist figurehead, Dr. Hawk. The whole show was filled with mystery trope parodies and such songs as "Rational, Logical" and "I'll Carry Your Flashlight." It was one of the most challenging and most rewarding experiences I've had in high school. I'm definitely going to try my hand at writing a musical again sometime while I'm in college.
Q: How do you plan on spending your last summer before college? Traveling? Sports? Hanging with friends?
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I'm not entirely sure yet. I know that it'll involve a lot of writing and I'll have a lot of time to spend on my guitar and keyboard, so I'll be able to make a lot of progress in learning those. I'll definitely have fun spending time with my friends, family and schnoodle before school starts again.
Q: What are you most looking forward to in your freshman year at McDaniel College?
I'm really excited for classes at McDaniel, especially ones in English and foreign languages, but I'm actually most excited to get involved with McDaniel's extracurricular scene. Between band, orchestra, Theatre On the Hill and everything else I decide to spend my time with, I hope to be as, if not more, involved at McDaniel than I was in high school. Also, I'm really excited for everything I don't know about yet. I'm excited to meet new people and try new things.
Q: What are you majoring in at McDaniel College and what do you want to do with your degree?
I'd like to major in English. Music and theater will also definitely stay major parts of my life and I'm really excited to pursue them in my free time as I begin chasing a career. Right now I'm looking at eventually pursuing a law degree, but I'm definitely keeping an open mind as I go into McDaniel. I think that college is meant to open our minds and I just can't wait to get started.