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VC Talks: an interview with Truong Thi Ngan Ha, GLORY Int'l Music Competition prize winner

Labels:

  • VirtuosoChannel Grand Prize @ GLORY Int'l Music Competition, 2018
  • 1st Prize, GLORY Int'l Classical Music Competition 2018
  • 1st Prize, GLORY Int'l Romantic Music Competition 2018
  • 2nd Prize, GLORY Int'l Modern & Contemporary Classical Music Competition 2018


Born into a non-musical family, Ms. Ngan Ha’s is the 7/9th grade of National Academy of Music’s pre-college program, class of Professor Tran Thu Ha. By the age of 15, she has won numerous awards including the 2nd prize at 1st Chopin International Competition in Bangkok, 1st Prize at 18th Argento Concorso piano Competition, Italy (Cat.B), Absolutely 1st prize at 18 Valtidone International Music Competition for Young Talents, Italy (Cat.B), 3rd Prize Hanoi International Piano Competition (Cat.A), some First and Second prizes at 2nd Lansum music festival in USA, Third Prize (Junior Category, 14-16 years old) - 7th Maria Herrero International Piano Competition, Granada, Spain, 1st prizes at Great Composer Competitions 2018 and many other prizes nationally and internationally recognized as well.

She has also performed concerts and recitals at Hanoi Opera House, the Great music concert hall of Vietnam Academy of Music, and other famous halls in Vietnam as well as Italy, America for excellent music results. She was chosen to perform as one of the solo performers with the Red Steinway and Son Model D-274 in the Steinway Red tour at Vietnam Academy of Music Hall in July 2015. Especially, she has performed Mozart concerto No.13 (Kv415) with Academy Orchestra April 2016 and Chopin concerto No.2 in F minor, 1st Mov. with Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra and conductor Honna Tetsuji October 2017. She’s got 1st Prize Concerto competition (Fall season) 2017, Category B – American Fine Art Competition (AFAF) for the concerto performance. She’s been chosen to play at Carnegie Hall this July 2018 from Hotchkiss School (America) Summer Portal.

Besides music, she has also incredible academic results. She is working hard every day with her busy schedule of academic program at school (she is following IB program (Grade 11)) and practicing without any musical background or help from her family. She was chosen as The Youngest person to receive one of ten “Hanoi capital city honor most outstanding young citizens of 2013” awards for excellent result in both academic school and music school. She also continuously received “Toyota Scholarship for Vietnamese Young Music Talents” in 2014, 2015, Yamaha Scholarship 2016 and 2018.

Thanks to great guidance from her professor, support from her teachers and school, she is growing up with busy life but enjoy music with so much passion.


What year were you born?
I was born in 2002.


Do you come from a musical family?
I was not born into a music family. My mother works for a Japanese organization while my dad is a freelancer who is a billionaire of time. He takes me around city to join a lot of extra classes whenever I need.


What was your earliest musical experience?
I had my first piano class when I was five. I came to my first music center once a week for class with about 5 other kids and practiced at home with an archaic and out-of-tune organ for 2 years.

My piano teacher, who had been overseeing my progress, told my parents that she could see that I had good ears for music learning and I studied pieces faster than my classmates. She suggested them take me to another teacher in a big music center. My parents did not really want me to take piano too seriously, but they thought, “Why not?”.

I met my second teacher when I was around seven, and she was my first and foremost source of inspiration. She helped me realize at a very young age that music was beautiful and passed the love for the piano to me. I counted excitedly day by day till Saturday to come to her class. After several time urging my parents, my teacher finally succeeded in asking my parents to buy me an upright piano. On the big day, I remember waking up super early and running around with excitement while waiting for the truck carrying my first beautiful black Yamaha to the door.

I had my first public performance when I was eight. I remembered playing ‘Wiener March’ in front of giant flashing lights and hundreds of people and I felt so great and at that moment, I knew exactly what I wanted to do-playing music for people.


Why did you choose to play the piano?
My mother initially wanted me to take piano classes just for fun because she thought it would help enrich my soul and sense of art. At the age of nine, I was taken to several minor competitions by my teacher and performed several times. After those experiences, I started hearing my friends from class and their parents talk about applying for the Vietnam National Academy of Music. I did some research on this academy with curiosity and found out that all of the best Vietnamese musicians were trained there. I also read about Professor Tran Thu Ha, and at that time, I suddenly my biggest goal was to manage to play for her. I asked my mother’s permission to apply for the academy, and that event was followed by a series of me crying and begging my mom to let me audition, my mom’s answer was a solid ‘no’, because she was too concerned about the amount of practice and strict commitment when I took it as my career. I was confused and ignorant, since all I wanted was to make piano ‘official’ in my life. When I was ten, I again, begged my parents to let me apply for the academy. When they said “NO” again, I would cry myself to sleep and be very sad for days. Luckily, my mother changed her mind as she felt really bad when hindering me to pursue my dream therefore she tried to book an appointment with Professor Tran Thu Ha exactly one week before the audition. I was extremely nervous because I was very scared being refused by Professor as I was one year older than the normal age to enter the academy. I played for her, and to both me and my parents surprise, she accepted me right away and even helped me prepare for the audition. I practiced my entire repertoire in just a week and got the highest audition score and I became Professor Tran Thu Ha’s first year student. Since then, I have joined many competitions around the world and won several prizes. I have become frantically busy with piano and school.

One day when I was at my first semester, I started to felt that playing the piano for 4 hours a day is not a typical thing for a kid to do. My friends felt sorry for me because all I did in my free time was practicing. Once, when I arrived at school late after a morning piano class, my English teacher decided to give my mom a long lecture on how she lets me be an ‘overworked’ and ‘miserable’ kid.

I was left confused because deeply inside, I thought I was the luckiest girl in the world to be able to play piano as my dream. Since then and through my dark age of puberty, social life really got in the way of my relationship with the piano. I used to pretend that I was so upset to be “stuck in the practice room” for hours and hours while my friends hung out at shopping malls. I did all I could to deny the fact that I would rather be with my piano. My younger self was not aware that my mindset was slowly and inevitably being morphed with the full thought that I should not be a pianist at all. During such dreadful period of time at middle school, I never mentioned about my concerts, competitions and success to my friends because I felt so embarrassed and alienated.

Luckily the moment of realization came to me. One day, I came to class and replayed like I just wanted to get it over with. My teacher was silence instead of giving me pages of corrections as she usually did. What she said afterwards awaked me. “I know you are having a hard time. I just want you to remember: no matter what happens or who you let into your life, at the end of the day, the piano will be the one thing that will never turn its back on you and will loyally be there for you, Emma. Today, when you go home, do me a favor and spend some decent time with your piano.”

I came home feeling stupid for my selfishness. For the first time, I thought about all the times when I came home crying because I felt left out or when public commentaries from my concerts were hard to bear, and how I would always play the piano for joy. For JOY. And when I didn’t practice for a week because I was too caught up in school or because my ‘friends’ make fun of me for being a ‘musical nerd’, how the piano was just there. I opened the piano, played Chopin’s Ballade No.1, and the rest is history.

Day by day, I have been mature gradually. Looking back to my 1st piano lesson until now, I have been practicing piano for ten years, and I simply fall in love with music with my whole heart and soul. Now, I’m a seventh year student at the Vietnam National Academy of Music and I am still going on my journey to make my dream of being a professional pianist come true.


Who are your favorite composers and why?
My favorite composers right now are Chopin and Ravel. I like Chopin’s music because of his beautiful choices of harmony and how he transforms human experiences and emotions into music that can be mutually felt by everyone else. I love Ravel because of the atmospheric aspects of his music that almost makes me feel like I am witnessing a fairytale.

My mother said that when I was in her tummy, she let me listen to Mozart music every day. When she turned on the Mozart variations “Twinkle, twinkle little star”, I was kicking repeatedly. That’s why Mozart is also my favorite composer because of the pureness in his music for the souls. As a result of music love, all family members agreed to choose the name – Ngan Ha means galaxy in the sky for me. And I have been learning Mozart Variations “Twinkle, twinkle little star” when I was a small girl with full of joys.


Who are your musical idols?
I don’t exactly have musical idols but the people that I am most inspired by or motivated by recently when I play the piano are Jacqueline du Pre (even though she is not a pianist), Yuja Wang, and my teacher.


What is a perfect performer?
In my opinion, the term ‘perfect’ for a musician is subjective. I personally think that noone is a perfect performer, though anyone can have a perfect performance, which is technically flawless and one that meets all of the performer’s intentions and ideas formed during practice. I personally like the performers who play good sound which sophisticatedly touch the souls and bring joy of music to audiences.


What music are you mostly enjoying at the moment?
Right now, I have Elgar’s Concerto in E minor on repeat and all of Ravel’s pieces for piano, my absolute favorite being Une Barque sur L’Ocean. My favorite pieces that I am playing are Jardin sous la Pluie by Debussy and Chopin’s Andante Spianato et Grande Polonaise Brillante. My previous performing experience with joy is playing Chopin Concerto No.2, 1st movement with Vietnam National symphony Orchestra under Japanese conductor Honna Tetsuji last year.


When you are performing, what are your thoughts?
To be honest, my thought vary up to the level of my preparation for the concerts, therefore I either focus entirely on music that I am playing or on what people think when they hear my playing.


Where do you study music and what are your future educational plans?
I currently study at the Vietnam National Academy of Music. I will have to apply for colleges/universities in nearly two years. At this moment, I have not yet had specific plan for future studies but I would like to study piano, piano pedagogy, and journalism in the US or in Europe. I dream to learn at a good music school or conservatory, but in fact, I have to pass the audition and I should see how much my parents can pay for my study abroad.

I have had a lifelong ambition of becoming a pianist and a piano teacher so that I am able to bring music to the children and people in my country, Vietnam, a developing country where people do not have many chances to enjoy classical music.


What are your reasons to participate in music competitions?
I participate in music competitions to have a chance to perform the pieces that I have practiced for a long time and to create new connections with friends of the same age, professors and audience members from that I don’t get to meet every day.


What is your opinion about GLORY International Music Competition?
In my opinion, GLORY International Music Competition is a great competing opportunity for musicians who don’t necessarily have the chance and circumstances to travel to compete.


When it is not music, what interests you? What is your favorite pastime?
I love to read, hang out with my friends, watching movies, drawing, and taking photos when I find spare time.


What book are you reading now?
I am reading The Secret History by Donna Tartt.


What are the happiest moments in your life?
As simple as it sounds, I love being with the friends that I love most and sharing a laugh with them no matter where we are.

And, when I play piano, even for one person, group of people or large audience and I feel that the audience love and enjoy my performance, the happiness will overflow like the spring over my mind.


What things do you not like to do?
I do not like to travel alone, especially to competitions and concerts.


What inspires you and what makes you sad?
At my age, friends and school are very important part of my life. I am inspired by my friends and sometimes strongly influenced by characters in books and movies. Things that upset me are being misunderstood by other people or make persons I care disappointed.


What are your strengths?
I think, I am quite at perseverance to follow what I want to do or I think it is good to do


What is your life motto?
“By making oneself’ busy life, one will have a good, balanced, meaningful life”


What is most important in life?
I think, the most important in life is to be hornets to myself and working hard with passion for a better future for all.


What is more important: talent or hard work?
Hard work is much more important. You could succeed by working hard even without talent but you could not get success with talent only.


If today was the last day on earth, what would you do?
I would gather with my best friends and if circumstances permit we would go stargazing and I want to wholeheartedly play all my loved pieces of music for them.


Why does the universe exist?
The universe exists despite for us to see and feel it.

Thank you very much for talking to us.


TALKS
In this series of interviews, we explore how some of the most talented and prize winning young classical musicians became interested in music, who are their musical idols, what they are working on at present, and what they strive to achieve in the future.

VC Talks: an interview with Eri Wong, GLORY Int'l Music Competition prize winner

Labels:

  • 1st Prize, GLORY Int'l Modern & Contemporary Classical Music Competition 2018

Eri Wong is currently studying piano under Nobuyo Nishizaka. She has recently graduated from the Azusa Pacific University with a Bachelor of Music, piano performance, where she studied under Dr. Joel Clifft. During the past several years, she participated and won in various competitions, including: SYMF, CAPMT, MTAC, LA international Liszt Competition, LA Young Musician International competition, etc. Recently she won the CAPMT Honors Auditions (2nd Place 2013, 3rd Place 2014, 2017 and 2018), the CAPMT Romantic festival (2nd place 2016, 2017, and 2018), the MTAC State Solo Competition (Honorable mention 2015 and 2016, winner 2018), and the MTAC State Final Solo Competition (1st place 2018). She also won the American Protégé International Competition of Romantic Music (2nd place 2012, 1st place 2014, 2nd place 2015).

Eri has participated in many charity concerts and has performed in Carnegie Hall in New York three times. She was also a part of the YMF chamber music series and participated in the live radio broadcast at LACMA. Aside from her private lessons, Eri take lessons every year and a few master classes from Mr. Paul Roberts in Portland, Oregon. She has also been involved in the Azusa Conservatory of Music since 2015, where she enjoys teaching private piano. Besides solo performances, Eri was the school symphony pianist and also an accompanist for various musicians including instrumentalist, vocalists, and musical theatre students.



What year were you born?
1996


Do you come from a musical family?
Yes, my mother is a piano teacher. She introduced me into playing the piano.


What was your earliest musical experience?
I started playing the piano when I was five years old, but before then, my mother played short tunes from the Disney songbook or from the well-known classical hits book on the piano for me. I was immediately intrigued and genuinely awed by the beautiful sound of the instrument.


Why did you choose to play the piano?
It was my mother’s decision at first, but as I continued to take lessons, I have never failed to appreciate and continue to love playing piano. Performing and playing the piano has been my passion since I was young.


Who are your favorite composers and why?
Debussy is one of my favorites. His use of exquisite colors, delicate tones and limitless imaginations brings me into a dream- like world, filled with euphoria.


Who are your musical idols?
My current favorite pianists that I enjoy listening to are Krystian Zimerman and Seong Jin Cho.


What was your most memorable performance?
When I performed Debussy's L'isle Joyeuse in New York, Carnegie Hall.


What is a perfect performer?
This is a difficult question, but I have a fairly simple answer. I believe that a perfect “performer” is someone who is genuinely enjoying and feeling the music. This is probably the best way to share, convey and connect with the audience.


What music are you mostly enjoying at the moment?
At the moment, I enjoy playing the 3rd Ballade by Chopin and Messiaen’s Preludes for piano, Un reflet dans le vent.


What are the main influences in your music-making?
My piano teachers, especially my current private teacher, Nobuyo Nishizaka.


When you are performing, what are your thoughts?
I definitely think about the piece and music that I am performing. I enjoy creating my own stories and images for the pieces.


Where do you study music and what are your future educational plans?
I have just graduated from the Azusa Pacific University with a Bachelor degree in Music, Piano Performance. Currently I am preparing for my Graduate school auditions.


What are your reasons to participate in music competitions?
Participating in competitions gives me the opportunity to improve my pieces and performances in general. Competitions are like a goal in a way since it motivates me to practice harder so that I can give a thorough performance. Winning a prize is great, but the best take away is the process and the fact that I am learning something new and improving.


What is your opinion about GLORY International Music Competition?
I think it is a great competition! There are so many different categories and many performers from all around the world. I thought the audience award was very interesting too. It was a great experience overall.


When it is not music, what interests you? What is your favorite pastime?
I love to eat out with my family and friends, watch YouTube videos, go thrift shopping, and sometimes read.


What book are you reading now?
Recently I have been into reading Japanese books. My favorite genre is mystery for sure.


What are the happiest moments in your life?
When I am spending time with my family and friends, playing the piano and eating ice cream.


What things do you not like to do?
Sports. I am terrible at sports.


What inspires you and what makes you sad?
My parents and my piano teacher always inspire me.
I get very upset when I give poor performances.


What are your strengths?
I believe that I am a hard worker.


What is your life motto?
My dad once said, “If you put your mind to it, you can do anything”
Simple, but it certainly spoke to me.


What is most important in life?
Family, love, music and happiness


What is more important: talent or hard work?
Hard work for sure. Without hard work, I believe that the talent won’t even show or it will go to waste. There are many great musicians that are extremely talented, but they still work and practice hard like everyone else.


If today was the last day on earth, what would you do?
I would probably to the ordinary. Wake up, eat a big breakfast, practice piano and spend time with my family.


Why does the universe exist?
Because miracles can happen…?!

Thank you very much for talking to us.


TALKS
In this series of interviews, we explore how some of the most talented and prize winning young classical musicians became interested in music, who are their musical idols, what they are working on at present, and what they strive to achieve in the future.

VC Talks: an interview with Olivia Li, GLORY Int'l Music Competition prize winner

Labels:

  • 1st Prize, GLORY Int'l Romantic Music Competition 2018
  • 1st Prize, GLORY Int'l Modern & Contemporary Classical Music Competition 2018

Olivia Li is 10 years old, and study with Florence Ko. She was 1st place winner of NCFMC (NC Federation Music Club) State Competition Wolff Award, Senior II of YAA (Young Artist Auditions by Raleigh Piano Teachers Association), State Royalty Competition, and Steinway Junior Piano Competition.


What year were you born?
2008


Do you come from a musical family?
No. My parents are scientists.


What was your earliest musical experience?
When I was 6 years old, I was very impressed seeing my friend playing piano at my afterschool, and wanted to learn. I learned a couple of easy pieces from my friend, and I got them straight away. My mom thought it was a perfect time for me to start learning piano, so she found a good piano teacher for me.


Why did you choose to play the piano?
Piano is the most basic instrument, also known as ¨The King of Musical Instruments¨. If you learn how to play the piano, learning to play any other instrument would be easier.


Who are your favorite composers and why?
My 1st favorite composer is Frédéric Chopin, because i like how his music has natural ups-and-downs. My 2nd favorite composer is Alexander Glazounov. I like how his pieces are so jolly. Lastly, i like Glenn Gould. I love how he always sits on his little chair, and sings while playing, which helps him.


Who are your musical idols?
One of my favorite musical idols is Yujia Wang. When she was about my age, every morning before school she would go swimming for an hour to get strong muscle. Whenever i hear her play, she looks so into the music. She plays very loud, but firm. My other musical idol is Lang Lang. When he plays, he is so emotional. He has been doing a music foundation where he can encourages and teaches younger children to play piano.


What is a perfect performer?
A perfect performer is not a person that plays all the notes correctly, but is somebody that knows the feeling and flow of the music. Of course, if they do get all the notes and all the dynamics right, adding on the feeling of the music, that would be great, but even if all the notes aren’t correct, but they still understand how the music is supposed to sound, it is perfect.


What music are you mostly enjoying at the moment?
A. I am mostly enjoying Nocturnes at the moment. What they remind me of it on a pond at night, when the moon is shining down at it, a small boat is softly and slowly drifting on the water.


What are the main influences in your music-making?
My 2 main influences in music for me are my 2 music teachers. Florence Ko helps me to feel the music, challenges me, and makes me work to the best of my ability. Alice Zhao, supports me very much and keeps me moving forward.


When you are performing, what are your thoughts?
When I am performing, my main thoughts are to get the phrasing, dynamics, and emotions right. I have to understand the piece during practicing, before I can perform.


Where do you study music and what are your future educational plans?
Every week I have two piano classes, outside of school. For my future plan, I still haven’t fully decided yet, but I believe that music will benefit my education.


What are your reasons to participate in music competitions?
My reasons to participate in music competitions aren’t to see who is better, and who is worse, but to see where I am, and test how much I’ve learned and accomplished throughout the past year. My mom suggested me not to focus on winning or not, but to make sure I’ve tried my best.


What is your opinion about GLORY International Music Competition?
I love how this competition splits into 4 sections: Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern. It is just like a timeline, and if anybody didn’t know when those periods were, they could just glance up at this. It was very helpful to me.


When it is not music, what interests you? What is your favorite pastime?
My favorite hobby other than music is dancing, especially ballet. Ballet and piano go together very well. Ballet can help me with the tempo of music.


What book are you reading now?
The book I am reading right now is “When the Sea turned to Silver.” It is about how a little girl named Pinmei and her friend Yishan go adventuring to save The Storyteller, or Pinmei’s grandmother from the emperor.


What are the happiest moments in your life?
One of the happiest moments of my life is when I got my dog, Kiki. Another moment is when I first started playing piano. I was so excited about everything! I also tried to teach my mom a couple of my favorite pieces, and she enjoyed it so much too! My 3rd happy moment was when my brother started playing piano. He was just like me, excited. I have so many happy moments, and it’s hard to say which one is the happiest.


What things do you not like to do?
There’s nothing that I don’t like in my mind at the moment.


What inspires you and what makes you sad?
Listening to music on the way to school and back home makes me so calm and relaxed. It inspires me to work harder. What makes me sad is when people misunderstand me.


What are your strengths?
One of my biggest strengths is never giving up. I´ve had many bottlenecks in so many things before, but I never gave it up.


What is your life motto?
My life motto is ¨When you fall down, stand back up.¨


What is most important in life?
I believe family is most important in life. My family encourages me when i am feeling sad. My brother always brings light to me, and my parents want me to be the best person i can be, no matter the circumstance.


What is more important: talent or hard work?
I feel that hard work is more important, because no matter how much talent you have, if you don’t work hard, it will just fade away. If you don’t have any talent, but you work the hardest you can, you can possibly be as good as the person with all the talent.


If today was the last day on earth, what would you do?
If today was the last day on earth, i would spend as much time as I could with my family. I would play soccer with my dad and brother, read with my mom, and run around with my dog.


Why does the universe exist?
So that people could find meanings in their lives.

Thank you very much for talking to us.


TALKS
In this series of interviews, we explore how some of the most talented and prize winning young classical musicians became interested in music, who are their musical idols, what they are working on at present, and what they strive to achieve in the future.

VC Talks: an interview with David Stedge, GLORY Int'l Music Competition prize winner

Labels:

  • 1st Prize, GLORY Int'l Baroque Music Competition 2018
  • 1st Prize, GLORY Int'l Romantic Music Competition 2018
  • 2nd Prize, GLORY Int'l Modern & Contemporary Classical Music Competition 2018


David Stedge is currently pursuing his Master of Music degree in Flute Performance at West Virginia University, studying under Professor Nina Assimakopoulos. At WVU, he is the Graduate Assistant to the Flute Studio where he teaches lessons to undergraduate students and performs other duties in the School of Music such as working in the Community Music Program Office through WVU and performing in the Graduate Woodwind Quintet. He is also a member of the WVU Symphony Orchestra, performing on both Flute and Piccolo. David recently made his solo debut at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall as a First Prize Winner of the Golden Classical Music Awards International Competition. Other competition successes include First Prize in The Art of Woodwinds & Brass and Masters of Winds Sonata of the Great Composers Competition, Second Place in WVMTNA, Second Prize in the ENKOR International Woodwinds, Brass, & Percussion Competition, and David was a finalist in the WVU Young Artist Competition. He has also done extensive work at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Michigan and is in his fourth summer of working here. Starting in 2014, David was a Cabin Counselor, a Unit Counselor in 2016, a member of the Touring Staff for the 2017 International Youth Symphony Orchestra, and this summer, he is one of the International Assistants, helping run the program and recruit students for future tours with Blue Lake. Prior to his studies at WVU, David received his Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education with a flute emphasis and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Applied Music with a voice emphasis from the State University of NY at Fredonia. While at Fredonia, David studied Flute with Dr. Susan Royal and Voice with Professor Julie Newell. His previous teachers also include Dr. Carol Shansky for Flute and Ms. Claudette Peterson for Voice.


What year were you born?
1993


Do you come from a musical family?
A little bit. My sister is also a musician, but other than that, nobody else in our family is very musical. They enjoy it and always support us, which is more than we could ever ask for!!


What was your earliest musical experience?
Playing classroom instruments in elementary school.


Why did you choose to play the flute?
I really loved how similar it sounded to singing as well as the high sounds it naturally made. Plus, a lot of my friends wanted to ply it as well, and we decided to all learn it together.


Who are your favorite composers and why?
I LOVE French composers because their music tells the listener a story that I feel I can capture, relate to, and execute in my performance of it.


Who are your musical idols?
All of my teachers in my life. They have been so inspiring and encouraging to me throughout the years and are why I am where I am oday!!


What is a perfect performer?
I don’t believe there is such a thing as a “perfect” performer, but I think the best performers are the ones who are clearly invested in the music and pour their heart and soul into their craft and showcase how much they love performing in front of people!!

What does music mean to you?
I don't think I would really
be much without it, without
it coming through me. It's my
means of communication, my means of growth, my means
of transportation from one
point in my life to another.
-Erykah Badu

What music are you mostly enjoying at the moment?
I am really enjoying orchestral repertoire a lot right now, as I am planning to take as many orchestral auditions as possible as I finish my Masters degree this year.


What are the main influences in your music-making?
How a piece of repertoire sounds from the first listen.


When you are performing, what are your thoughts?
Just to enjoy the moment and remember to share my voice through my instrument.


Where do you study music and what are your future educational plans?
I received my BM in Music Education for Flute and my BA in Applied Music for Voice from the State University of NY at Fredonia, and I am currently pursuing my MM in Flute Performance at West Virginia University. After I graduate this year, I plan to look for teaching jobs in public schools and take orchestral auditions.


What are your reasons to participate in music competitions?
To grow as a musician and person along with getting my name and playing out in the open, so I can learn and grow from as many people as possible.


What is your opinion about GLORY International Music Competition?
It is a great start to getting a musician’s name out in the open.


When it is not music, what interests you? What is your favorite pastime?
I love to cook and workout!! Those are extremely important to me when I’m not practicing.


What book are you reading now?
I am reading The Alexander Technique for Musicians.


What are the happiest moments in your life?
Any moment where I am able to just be and live life to the fullest!


What are your strengths?
Organization, passion, and determination.


What is most important in life?
Happiness.


What is more important: talent or hard work?
I think they are equally important.


If today was the last day on earth, what would you do?
Travel the world.

Thank you very much for talking to us.


TALKS
In this series of interviews, we explore how some of the most talented and prize winning young classical musicians became interested in music, who are their musical idols, what they are working on at present, and what they strive to achieve in the future.