At our rehearsal on April 18th Sue Savage presented our Young Musician Award 2016. This went to Ellie Row, who is a Taunton’s College student. Ellie played the 3rd movement of Ravel’s Sonatine for us, to tumultuous applause.
Ellie is nineteen, having had to repeat a year in Sixth Form College due to prolonged absences through illness. She is taking A level Maths, Physics and Music. Although she hopes to study Music at University she does not want a career as a professional performer because she gets too nervous, and feels that composition would be a better option.
Ellie later sent this email to the choir:
“I’d like to thank you and Southampton Choral Society very much for giving me the opportunity to perform to you on Monday, and for the lovely award that I had presented to me.
I have been playing the piano since I was about 6 years old, but I had never really learnt to play properly until about 5 years ago, which was when came I under the tutelage of my current piano teacher, Rachel Harper.
This was because I was diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis when I was 3 years old, therefore throughout my childhood; I was never really well enough to learn with a teacher regularly. What music I did play, I had mainly taught myself, and I enjoyed sight-reading a whole range of genres from baroque and classical, to jazz and musicals.
Since being taught by Rachel, my piano skills have increased dramatically, and I now intend to take the ABRSM Piano Diploma in July.
As I was often ill, I missed school a lot, and the piano was one way of coping with my illness. I also learnt to play the violin in Junior School, and I currently have lessons with Emma Clark. I intend to take my grade 8 in violin this summer.
As well as playing the violin and piano, I also sing, and have lessons with Elin Davis at my college, Richard Taunton’s Sixth Form. I took my singing grade 8 last year.
I hope to go on to study music at either the University of Nottingham or the University of Southampton, and I have received offers from both. At the moment, I am the co-principal player of Southampton Youth Orchestra, and sadly this is my last year with them before I go off to university. I hope to return to them in the future to help out, and to perhaps play a concerto!
I’d like to thank you all again very much, and I hope that you have an enjoyable and successful concert at the end of this month!”