Rewards: “Music is such an important aspect in my life because it brings me happiness, joy and rewards that I wouldn't have had otherwise. Music has forced me to work hard and it has taught me so much about life. I love playing the violin.”
Rebecca Pedersen, 20, voice, Puccini, Un bel di vedremo from “Madama Butterfly”
Gratitude: “I have been given so much in my life, I have a wonderful family and mentors and friends who all support me in this endeavor, and this is my way of thanking them: of showing my love and appreciation.”
Influence: “I can honestly say I would not be a singer today if I had not met my voice teacher Darrell Babidge and his amazing wife Jenny two years ago. They are the most Christ-like people I know, and I hope someday I can prove worthy of all the sacrifice they have given to help me follow my dream.”
Kana Yoshigi, 13, piano, Beethoven, Piano Concerto No. 3, First Movement
Performance selection: “I was encouraged to learn Beethoven Concerto No. 3 by my teacher and was astonished by its demanding emotional powers. I especially like the first movement with its massive cadenza, which sends shivers down my spine. After hearing the work, it was all I could think about. It was my choice to work on the first movement and get it to a high level of performance.”
Inspiring composer: “J.S. Bach’s pieces have a meaning and guideline behind everything, and I'm interested in performing and expressing the story of the pieces. I also have a strong belief that without Bach, present music would be much different.”
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