Friday, December 16, 2022

District 2 Music Festival honors Windham violinist

By Ed Pierce

The violin is one of most difficult musical instruments to learn and master and for the past 12 years, Emily Greene has strived to overcome its unique challenges and perform to the best of her ability. That hard work has paid dividends as Greene has been honored by Maine District 2 Music Festival as 1st violinist and concertmaster for an upcoming concert.

Violinist Emily Greene, 17, a senior at 
Windham High School, has been chosen
as 1st Violinist and Concertmaster for
the Maine District 2 Music Festival in
February. Greene has been playing the 
violin since she was 5.
The daughter of Michael Greene and Debbie Bernier, Greene, 17, is a senior at Windham High School and auditioned in October at Lincoln Middle School in Portland to be chosen to play in the music festival. The audition required her to prepare a piece to perform and two scales as she has done in previous years, but this time, Greene achieved the results she was seeking, earning the highest score among the young musicians who auditioned.

“I was very excited but a little bit shocked as well,” Greene said. “I’ve auditioned for districts before and never been given the honor of serving as concertmaster.”

The concertmaster is the principal first violin player in an orchestra and after the conductor, is the second-most significant leader among the orchestra musicians.

Greene says that she first became interested in playing the violin at the age of 4 when her mother brought her to a concert that featured one.

“I heard it, and I told her that I wanted to play the violin,” she said.

At just 5 years old, Greene began to take violin lessons from Deirdre Oehrtmann of Windham, and it inspired a passion of music and a potential career in music for her. She also sings and plays the guitar and is teaching herself to play the piano.

With Oehrtmann’s guidance, Greene has studied the violin using the “Suzuki Method,” an educational system that teaches children how to play music with the same ease that they learn to speak their native language. Under this type of instruction, practitioners start early and develop rigorous habits through repeated practice and sequential introduction to classical compositions.

From 2011 to 2015, Greene was a member of the children’s orchestra for "The Magic of Christmas" at Merrill Auditorium and Greene has also performed in some concerts at the Portland Conservatory. She performed in an opera at age 10 and then wrote an opera of her own at the age of 11.

Along with the District 2 violin auditions this fall, Greene auditioned for District 2 vocals as a soprano and achieved that distinction too. She qualified as an All-State selection for both vocals and violin this year but had to choose only one and opted for All-State violin honors. Recently she placed in the top three in a classical voice competition sponsored by the Maine chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing.

According to Greene, the most difficult music she’s had to learn so far was the audition piece for this year’s All-State festival, Concerto 23 in G Major by Viotti. She lists her favorite music to perform as Gavotte in G Minor by Bach and says that she loves to play Christmas songs on all of her musical instruments.

To master the violin takes years and countless hours of practice and that’s something that Greene embraces. Her practice schedule depends upon the day, but usually she practices for a half-hour each weekday before school and longer every weekend in the morning.

“I like playing the violin because it’s a challenge to get everything right, but I can put my own expression into it,” Greene said. “It’s such a beautiful instrument to play and like a high-pitched extension of my voice.”

At Windham High School, she takes music classes taught by Dr. Richard Nickerson and Katherine Herrle and is hoping to study music in college when she graduates this coming June.

Despite performing since she was small, Greene says she still experiences some jitters before playing for a crowd.

“I get a tiny bit nervous but I’m never nervous on stage,” she said.

Greene credits her parents for their support and her violin teacher Oehrtmann, who she continues to study with, for helping her realize her dreams.

“It’s been very rewarding,” she said. “For me music is going to be a big part of my future.”

The Maine District 2 Music Festival will be held in February at Deering High School in Portland. <

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your Comments Help Improve Your Community.