This page is reserved for the very special alumni who have studied at the studio over the years. Please forgive me if you are omitted-this is a work in progress.
Spotlight on: Laura Pittman, Rhode Scholar
Former long- time piano student Laura Pittman is no stranger to accolades. She holds many past national and local awards as a pianist, to include a national travel and workshop scholarship from Conservatory Canada for one of the highest marks in Canada in a Grade 9 piano exam. At present an engineering student at Memorial University of Newfoundland (St. John's NL), she has just won one of the highest scholastic honours that exists, a Rhodes Scholarship for the upcoming year of 2013.
Laura, rowsellpiano wishes to congratulate you on your enormous achievement of being named a 2013 Rhodes Scholar.
Can you briefly outline what led you to apply for this scholarship?
Aside from the amazing educational opportunity, what excites me about the Rhodes Scholarship is the community of people you become a part of and have the opportunity to meet. When you bring so many people together with different backgrounds, interests and areas of expertise there is tremendous potential to truly make a difference in the world. The chance to be a part of this community was one of the main factors that led me to apply for the scholarship.
What successes and accomplishments do you attribute to being named a Rhodes Scholar for 2013?
I don’t believe I could attribute a single success or accomplishment to becoming a Rhodes Scholar; each endeavour that I have participated in has helped shape who I am today. Apart from my Conservatory Canada Award, some of my most notable accomplishments include the Canadian Association for Co-operative Education Student of the Year (2011), Canadian Interuniversity Sport Academic All Canadian (2010 & 2011), Memorial University Alumni Entrance Scholarship and Dean’s List Awards from 2007 to 2012.
As an award winning pre-college piano student, do you think learning a musical instrument in your formative years shaped who you are today?
Yes, I definitely believe that learning a musical instrument helped shape the person I am today.
In what way?
Among other things, learning the piano helped improve my focus and attention to detail. Additionally, I always found music a great way to relax and de-stress. It provided an escape from the sometimes chaotic and complicated “real world” and allowed me to focus my energy (and sometimes frustration) and express it in a productive way. After playing I always felt refreshed and ready to tackle anything!
Can you define any skills you acquired as a piano player and student of music that led to your success as a top MUN engineering student, and future Rhodes Scholar?
My involvement in music not only improved my focus and attention to detail but also exposed me very early to performing in public which helped develop my public speaking skills.
Do you still play the piano for enjoyment?
I still play, but not as much as I would like, and I continue to find it a great way to relax and de-stress. I love sitting down and playing old songs or tackling something new. I don’t think I will ever stop playing for enjoyment.
How do you plan to use the Rhodes Scholarship, and where might this lead you?
As a Rhodes Scholar-elect I plan to complete graduate studies at the University of Oxford in England. Beginning in October 2013 I plan to spend two years at Oxford completing two, one year master programs. The first will be a Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering followed by a Master of Business Administration. In the future I hope to lead a socially responsible, global company whose mission includes improving the lives of others.
Do you have any advice for young people with ambitions similar to yours?
Don’t be afraid to take risks, challenge yourself and explore your interests; otherwise, you will never know your true potential.
Thank you Laura for the opportunity to interview you, and I wish you all the best with your future dreams and plans.
Sally Rowsell, rowsellpiano
Where are they now?
Gillian Ezekiel: (Wiseman) Director and Accompanist Dreams in Motion Fine Arts School, Kingston Ontario
Ashley Sheppard: Director, Eastern Wind Ensemble, private teacher, Master of Music
Lauren Strong, Kiersten Noel: members of vocal group, AfterGlow
Sarah Small: frequent Musical Theater performer, private piano & voice teacher, now pursuing a medical degree
Doug Angel: B. Mus, Gold Medal MUN Medicine, at present studying head and neck surgery, University of Western Ontario http://www.mun.ca/music/dev/newsletter/summer10.pdf scroll to page 12 for a first hand account.
Gillian Sheppard: completed a Masters in flute performance,heading to the Royal Academy of Music, London. spearheaded with sister Ashley "Project Grace" in NL.
Gillian Burry: graduating MUN Music, piano major
Julia Bowdring: graduating MUN Music, piano major. fiddler, At Ship's End.
Laura Murray: just cut a piano cd, requirement for Master of Music, MUN Music
Sarah Gibbons: freelancing and auditioning in Toronto. completed an MA in Musical Theater, Royal Conservatiore of Scotland
Jennifer Hart; just completed a Masters in conducting, MUN
Mary Winters: B. Mus, piano; teacher at World Teach, Nambia, now in Micronesia, Country Director, World Teach.
Laura Pittman: Rhode Scholar for 2013, Engineering student.
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