The George School Alumni Office hosted two virtual concerts for the George School community this spring. During this time of social isolation, these performances offered a way for our community to come together to celebrate the accomplishments of two of the school’s talented alumni, Matt Check ’00 and Holdyn Barder ’17.
Matt is an award-winning musician who played songs and shared stories on Facebook Live for more than 800 George School students, alumni, and fans on April 2, 2020. During the concert, Matt played songs that he and his brother, Jonathan Check ’02, had written while at George School and in college. Matt even shared some photos of his friends and bandmates that he developed himself in his photography class at George School.
Matt grew up in a musical household and continued to expand his instrumental repertoire during his years as a George School student. “In the late 1990s, George School was a wonderful place to be yourself and be artistic.” Matt went on to talk about playing his brother during Live Music Weekends and local venues, such as the Starbucks in Newtown. Read more.
Holdyn, a country artist on-the-rise, shared his own collection of George School stories, and performed covers by his favorite artists on May 7, 2020. He also performed his first official single entitled “Like You Do,” which was released earlier this year. Holdyn credits George School and the great relationships he formed with peers and teachers for fostering his love of music. “It’s at George School where I learned that music was a passion of mine—it’s where I first started playing guitar.”
Upon graduating from George School, Holdyn attended Lafayette College for physics, but quickly realized that he wanted to seize opportunities to pursue music full-time. He started making trips to Nashville to work on his songwriting, and ultimately ended up transferring to Belmont University in Nashville to pursue a Music Business degree with an Audio Production emphasis. In addition to pursuing this degree, Holdyn is currently an operations intern with Big Machine Label Group and continues to work on his music.
“Being able to reconnect with George School again via Facebook Live was an incredible feeling,” Holdyn shared. “Memories flooded back to me and I was reminded of just how special this community is to me. George School holds a special place in my heart, and being able to share what I have been up to in Nashville the last few years was very exciting.” Watch Holdyn’s Facebook Live concert here.
George School is grateful to both Matt and Holdyn for sharing their musical talents with the wider community this spring to keep it connected through art.