KINGS COUNTY NS – Two Wolfville and two Port Williams youth have earned Royal Conservatory of Music gold medals after their recent exams.
Pianist Michelle Song of Wolfville achieved her second medal in the eighth piano level. The Horton High School student believes strong piano skills will be useful in her musical future.
“I think you learn something every time you play and that makes you more knowledgeable,” she says.
Song was taught by Barbara Hansen and this year she has become John Hansen’s pupil. Mozart is her favourite composer and she has been playing since age six.
Another Horton student, Keigan Richard of Avonport, also won a gold medal in piano under the tutelage of instructor Hiro Suzuki. He also plays violin.
He finds playing challenging to the extent that, “it’s something like life. It’s not easy. You can play something hundreds of times and it’s still not perfect.”
Richard’s favourite composer is Bach.
Siblings Ainslie and Benjamin Symons of Port Williams scored top marks in Atlantic Canada on their respective conservatory examinations in violin.
Eight-year-old Ainslie received her medal for her performance on the level two violin examination, while her 12-year-old brother earned his for the level five violin. They both study with music teacher Karen Langille.
The Symons players say they practise an hour a day for a total of five or six hours a week. When asked if that’s work, Ainslie smiles and calls music fun. Her brother simply likes the challenge.
The musical duo say they enjoy all kinds of music, including fiddle and Old Time tunes.
The awards were handed out last month at The Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts in Halifax.
Regional gold medals are awarded each academic year to conservatory examination candidates in Preparatory A and B and Grades 1 to 10 who achieve the highest mark in their respective province or designated region.
Eligible candidates must score at least 80 per cent on their practical examination and must have completed the co-requisite theory examinations for their respective grade and discipline.