Sarah Quan, a student at Yew Chung International School of Beijing (YCIS), received a rather exciting email on Thursday, March 14 announcing that she had been awarded a full scholarship to the Kennedy Center/National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute in Washington D.C. A violinist since the age of four, Quan is one of only approximately 70 other students from the US to be accepted into the Summer Music Institute (SMI).
The intensive program is four weeks of private lessons, rehearsals, lectures, and classes with members of the National Symphony Orchestra to prepare aspiring musicians for a future music career. “I will have the chance to work side by side with [a]professional orchestra, a truly unique experience. Furthermore, professional musicians will teach us how to manage a career in music and how to market ourselves and work with promoters,” explains Quan, a year 12 student from the US.
Being a young musician isn’t easy, and dedication to become truly talented comes even harder. But, says Quan, “As you progress, you realize that you are creating something beautiful and fining a whole new way to express your emotions. I practice every day and every so often [I] have one of those ‘wow’ moments in which [I] am inspired by a new idea …However before you this stage, it is vital that you learn the techniques of your instrument.”
Quan’s talent is proudly recognized at YCIS, where she recently won a school-wide music composition competition. She performed at Yew Chung International School’s 80th anniversary concert on Tuesday, March 26, where she won over the audience with her emotionally evocative composition and technique. “One technique I was taught regarding music composition is how to relate different pieces to colors, as colors can reflect different feelings. Then when you play, you can think of that color and/or relate to a story that will allow the audience to feed of your emotions as you perform. If you can do this successfully, you have moved from being a technician to a true musician,” Quan reveals.
The SMI program runs from July 1-29. For more information on SMI, including audition exceprts for each instrument, visit their website.
Photo courtesy of YCIS Beijing