Air Wang wants to pursue a career as a professional musician. To realise her dream, the cello player has a desire to attend The Juilliard School for college. She’s received a lot of encouragement to pursue the stringed instrument from her music teacher, but she wants even more opportunities to play.
“When the orchestra or chamber music play together I find it really enjoyable… to have several people in one room that play an instrument and are willing to play with you in a group,” the British School of Beijing, Shunyi student said.
“I want to become a better musician.”
Gabriel Rueda, a Grade 11 student at The Village School is also keen to attend The Juilliard School in the future and wants to pursue his passion for singing and acting professionally.
After attending and enjoying the Summer Performing Arts with Juilliard programme in Geneva, Switzerland in 2017, Gabriel said he craved for a specialised performing arts experience that would take their talent and career further. The expansion of the summer programme with a course for talented singers provided the solution to his needs.
“It’s geared towards what I am inclined to, learning classical singing and proper technique. I really want to get into the best music school in the US and possibly the world. That’s why I enrolled for this programme,” Gabriel said.
Seth Baer, Director of Global K-12 summer and visiting artist programmes at Juilliard, said the opportunity for students to work closely with Juilliard’s artist faculty and sharpen their technical skills at a young age made the programme both unique and highly-sought after.
“They receive an amazing amount of personalised attention from the faculty in a multitude of settings,” Mr Baer said.
“The training is top-notch and gives them tools that they will unpack for many months following these intensive programmes.”
The appeal of being in a group together with like-minded peers from around the world to share their talent and offer new perspectives was particularly refreshing said Gabriel, who opted for the College/Conservatory Prep Intensive thread of study from the Voice programme in Orlando this past summer. This camaraderie shone through during the final concert.
“It was great seeing all my friends up there, doing the best they possibly could, and seeing how they grew and evolved into much better, more capable performers,” Gabriel said.
Air’s father, Paul Wang, said he noticed a dramatic change not only in Air’s musical abilities but in her attitude towards becoming a musician.
“She really loved the Juilliard teachers,” Mr Wang said.
“They helped her in a targeted way, so she felt she made a lot of progress in a short period of time.”
Many students experience breakthroughs of a personal nature when they participate in the Summer Performing Arts programmes. Juilliard lead faculty for the Voice programme Matthew Patrick Morris said there were several magic moments where students with low self-esteem transformed.
Mr Morris said he saw a transformation in all of the students that participated in the Orlando programme.
“It’s been a life-changing experience for many kids,” he said.
Wanting to attend this year’s String programme, Air said it was the teachers’ excitement that helped her develop her passion.
“When you get into their class they’re excited,” she said.
“They’re different from other teachers I’ve had. When you get into their class you know it’s going to be fun. Being in their class is like having a break. The teachers are patient and explain things to you.”