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    Tuesday, June 18, 2024

    Williams senior’s next adventure taking her to Scotland

    Senior Rachel Hambly with her display of photographs Wednesday, May 8, 2024, at Williams School in New London. (Dana Jensen/The Day)
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    Editor’s note: The Day publishes an annual series of stories spotlighting outstanding seniors graduating from the region’s 16 public and private high schools.

    New London ― Williams School senior Rachel Hambly is preparing to trade the manicured landscaping of the preparatory school’s New London campus for the coastal climes of a 611-year-old university in Scotland.

    The 18-year-old Stonington resident and aspiring fashion journalist in the fall will attend the University of St. Andrews in St. Andrews, Scotland, a school Hambly previously visited and one of the 17 colleges that accepted her.

    “I loved the setting and the educational options,” said Hambly, who took part in a cathedral tour of the region in 2016 as a choir member. “It was the last school I toured and I loved the environment ― it was so similar to Williams.”

    Hambly’s passion for singing began in preschool and solidified after years of performing with church choirs, including at the Trinity on the Green Episcopal Church in New Haven, where she serves as lead girl singer.

    “It’s an all-girls choir and I travel to New Haven three times a week for rehearsals and to sing in the Sunday service,” the soprano said, adding her role in that group has enabled her to perform in a range of venues, including the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

    Walden Moore, Trinity’s director of music, described Hambly as a friendly, quiet presence.

    “But still waters run deep,” said Moore, who is preparing to retire next month after 40 years. “When anyone new comes in, Rachel’s the first one to reach out.”

    Moore said Hambly was selected for the “lead girl” position as much for her leadership skills as her singing ability.

    “She’s been a great help with the group and I know she’ll flourish in Scotland,” he said. “Our late governor, Ella Grasso, used to say, ‘Bloom where you are planted.’ And that describes Rachel perfectly.”

    In addition to her singing, Hambly is an avid artist and photographer whose pieces, including several black-and-white photos, have been selected for display as part of the Lyman Allyn Art Museum art show.

    Hambly also finds time to devote to her two other interests: writing and fashion.

    “I’m a big journal-keeper and texture in fashion has always fascinated me,” said Hambly, the lead editor of the school’s yearbook. “I was pretty shy my first quarter here at the school but did find a close group of friends. I’m not afraid to show who I am.”

    Despite her successes on- and off-campus, Hambly has remained remarkably grounded, said Sharon Gaudreau, Williams’ head of enrollment and advancement.

    “Rachel’s done so much and she’s an excellent student, but she’s low-key and humble about those accomplishments,” Gaudreau said.

    j.penney@theday.com

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