Hometown: Plymouth, Minn.
Piece: Franz Doppler — Fantaisie Pastorale Hongroise, Op.26
Why do you love to perform?
For me, performing doesn't have anything to do with the way I feel, or how nervous I get, or how much practicing I have done to get there. While it is nice to receive recognition for hard work, performing has always meant more to me than this.
When my flute teacher helps me learn a new solo, we don't focus on our own feelings very much. Though she helps me to find situations in my life where I have felt something similar to what is being conveyed in the music, this is not the focus of our work. Rather, we try and find ways that the way I am feeling can be conveyed to the audience in a way that they can understand. Sometimes, music can express what words cannot, and I try and give someone a way to express themselves, through me.
That's the real reason I love to perform. I love the idea that I can say something many others are struggling to articulate. Even if just one person in the audience can relate to something I've said through the music, that's enough to make me happy, because I may have helped someone else on the road to happiness become happy, too.