Fryeburg’s Gwen Boros … an accomplished musician, athlete, and scholar

Upon first glance, it would be easy to mistake Gwendolyn (Gwen) Boros for an average teen—tall and slender with big brown eyes, wavy, honey-colored hair pulled back in a ponytail and a shy unassuming smile. But, Gwen Boros, an accomplished musician, athlete and scholar, is no average teen.

As a freshman at Fryeburg Academy, she won the Western Maine Conference indoor track championship long jump event in February, shattering the school indoor track record with a jump of 15′ 10″. She followed that up by winning the Western Maine Conference Division 1 outdoor track championship long jump event in May with a jump of 16’ 4.25”, then came in third in the long jump at the Maine Class B State Championship outdoor meet at Yarmouth in June, breaking the school outdoor track record with a jump of 17′ 2″.

She also ran anchor as part of the school’s indoor 4×200 relay team, which won first place at the Maine Class B State Championship indoor meet at Bates College in February. As humble as she is fast, Gwen states, “I couldn’t have broken the school records without my coaches Robert Collins and Kevin McDonald, and the support of my teammates.”

When she’s not burning up the track, she’s playing the French horn as part of the school’s band and jazz band. According to Fryeburg Academy music teacher, Mike Sakash, “Gwen is a dedicated music student who has already developed stellar technique as a French hornist. She plays with a very mature sense of phrasing and a gorgeous tone.” Not only does she play for the school band, but she was accepted to District II Honors Band with a perfect score and the Maine All-State band. She credits much of her success to her music teacher. “Mr. Sakash has been unbelievably supportive,” she stated. 

Did I mention that she also studies French Horn privately with John Boden, attends Camp Encore/Coda each summer, and plays with the Portland Youth Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble? Like I said, not your average teen.

So where does this standout come from? Gwen is a New Jersey native who relocated to Fryeburg with her family in 2016. Her parents bought a home there in 2009 and fell in love with the natural beauty of the area, so they moved the whole family. When I asked about her family, Gwen answered, “Well, there’s my dog Bubbles and my brothers Ian and Matt.” Yes, Bubbles came first.

By all accounts, Gwen’s family is a musical one. Her father is a composer and plays the guitar. One brother plays piano, and the other, jazz bass. Even Bubbles is in on the action. “My dog plays French horn,” Gwen stated matter of factly. I looked at her in awe, wondering how on earth Bubbles learned to play the French horn, and she said with a grin,

“That was a joke.” All this talent and a sense of humor too!

I asked Gwen if she could invite any five people to a dinner party, who would they be, what would the menu be, and what music would you listen to? A typical teen’s answer might include the likes of Taylor Swift, Katie Perry, and Beyonce. I think at this point we’ve established that Gwen is atypical. Her guest list would include, “All the great classical composers in one room … I know that’s more than five, but it would be awesome.” Really? But I forgot the guest who topped the list: you guessed it, Bubbles. The music would, of course, be classical, but with a twist: “recent classical and other genres of music, nothing those composers had written, so they could see how music has changed since their time.”

And what about the menu? “Mac and cheese, pizza, root beer, Shirley temples, chocolate pudding, chocolate strawberries, hamburgers, and hotdogs.” Now there’s the average 15-year-old girl! Let’s just hope that one of those composers drops a hot dog or two for Bubbles.

Catch the Rising Star article in the summer 2017 printed edition of Mt Washington Valley Vibe