Name: Abigail Wingard
From: Orono, Maine
Grade: HS Senior
School: Orono High School
The Classics and
I’ve been fortunate. At a young age I was given the tools to overcome a significant learning disability and the anxiety it had caused. I was given the chance immerse myself in a world where my passion could propel me beyond the limits I felt in the classroom. I was encouraged to study classical music.
However, not all kids have the chance to try something as out of the mainstream as studying the classics. I have played cello for most of my life and have found a calling in sharing not just the music, but the
discipline, technique and knowledge of classical cello with others. I volunteer regularly as a mentor and instructor in school and community ensembles and as an instructor for beginning cellists. I try to share with them my passion for playing and help them develop a love of music that pushes their boundaries.
Volunteering in this way has become an important part of my life. I’ve learned that my love of music isn’t to be found in just the isolated performance of difficult pieces, but in the community of musicians around me. I feel it is important to give back by offering my time and whatever experience I have developed to foster the next generation of musicians. In a world where many artists are content to play for their own gratification, put up videos on the Internet and participate in advanced ensembles, I really feel that the best part of my musical career has been working with kids and helping them find their own love of music.
So, how do I volunteer? First, I play as the principal cellist in both my school orchestra and the regional youth orchestra. In those positions I mentor younger and less experienced students daily. I also work with younger students in their ensembles as a section tutor ,and an individual tutor. I give private lessons, at no cost, to elementary school aged musicians. Finally, I have volunteered with
my local arts and community theater groups to score and perform music to enhance their productions. I am busy, but I love the work. My role as a volunteer means a lot to me. It helps define who I am.