Talented flute student wins US scholarship

Thursday, 18 May 2006

Third-year Bachelor of Music in Performance student and flautist Amy Ellks has won a full scholarship to a month-long summer school with the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) in the United States.

Amy, just 19 from Heathfield in the Adelaide Hills, is the only Australian to be selected for the Kennedy Center's NSO Summer Music Institute out of 70 young musicians from around the world.

Head of Woodwind in the Elder Conservatorium of Music, Elizabeth Koch, said: "This is quite a coup for Amy and for the Elder Conservatorium. Amy is one of our most talented students and this is a tremendous opportunity for her. It is this sort of exposure and experience which can really boost a young musician at the start of their career."

Amy is taught the flute by Elizabeth Koch and Geoffrey Collins, Principal Flute with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.

At the Summer Music Institute, Amy will have lessons with an NSO musician, master classes and seminars with music professionals and will meet internationally renowned conductors, soloists and musicians.

She will play with the Summer Music Institute chamber orchestra, taking part in two public concerts at the well-known Kennedy Centre Concert Hall and chamber music performances at the Millenium Stage.

Amy started playing the flute when she was just eight - and it would have been earlier but she wasn't allowed to because she was too small.

"I wouldn't settle for any other instrument," says Amy. Since then she has won many awards including the David Cubbin memorial scholarship in 2004 (Flute Society of SA), the Christchurch scholarship in 2005, and she recently performed Mozart's flute concerto in G major as a soloist with the Elder Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra.

To be selected for the Summer School she submitted a recording and a brief description of why she wanted to attend the Summer School.

"Last year I went away to Europe with Liz and the flute group," she says. "That experience made me want to travel again, to gain more orchestral experience, and bring what I learn overseas, back into my playing and teaching here."

Amy teaches flute at two schools, Seymour College, and St Joseph's Primary School.


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