Young pi­anists have the right touch

The Compass - - EDITORIAL - BY MARK SQUIBB SPE­CIAL TO THE COM­PASS editor@CBN­com­pass.ca

Emily Butt and Dan­ica Ro­bichaud were both re­cently awarded the Con­ser­va­tory Canada Award of Ex­cel­lence for the High­est Mark in New­found­land and Labrador for their re­spec­tive pi­ano grades.

“I didn’t un­der­stand how big of an award it was when I first got it,” said Dan­ica with a laugh.

They were of­fi­cially awarded the medals in Novem­ber of 2015, re­ceiv­ing them in the mail that same month. How­ever, the New­found­land and Labrador con­vo­ca­tion cer­e­mony was not held un­til Jan. 28.

Emily was awarded the High­est Mark for grade three pi­ano, and has since grad­u­ated to grade four, while Dan­ica was awarded the High­est Mark for grade four pi­ano, and has since grad­u­ated to grade five. In to­tal, there are 10 grades in the cur­ricu­lum.

Emily is a grade six stu­dent at St. Fran­cis School, and Dan­ica is a grade nine stu­dent at Cres­cent Col­le­giate. Both stu­dents share an ob­vi­ous pas­sion for mu­sic.

“Some­times, I don’t play my pi­ano songs — I’ll prac­tise, but then I’ll find a song in an­other book and learn how to play that,” ad­mit­ted Emily.

“I like the dif­fer­ent ways you can play a song. Some­one can play a song loudly, and some­one else can play it qui­etly and con­nected and it still sounds amaz­ing,” said Dan­ica.

Mar­cia O’Neil of Car­bon­ear teaches pi­ano to both of the girls.

“I’m hugely pleased with both Emily and Dan­ica’s suc­cess,” said O’Neil. “Mu­sic lessons al­ways ask you for a lit­tle more than you think you can do.”

Emily has been with O’Neil for seven years now, ever since she has been four years old, while Dan­ica has been re­ceiv­ing lessons from O’Neil for six years.

And what does the fu­ture hold for th­ese girls?

Nei­ther have any in­ten­tions of drop­ping their mu­sic lessons any time soon. And though both pos­sess the tal­ent, po­ten­tial, and abil­ity to pur­sue mu­sic as a ca­reer, both girls have ex­pressed in­ter­ests in dif­fer­ent fields. Emily says she has con­sid­ered den­tistry, while Dan­ica plans on be­com­ing a psy­chi­a­trist.

But when you’re this young, the pos­si­bil­i­ties are end­less.

“I like the dif­fer­ent ways you can play a song. Some­one can play a song loudly, and some­one else can play it qui­etly and con­nected and it still sounds amaz­ing,” -Dan­ica Ro­bichaud

PHOTO BY MARK SQUIBB/SPE­CIAL TO THE COM­PASS

Dan­ica Ro­bichaud (left) and Emily Butt.

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