SOPHIE RICHARDSON has been singing and dancing for as long as she can remember.
The Year 11 Ipswich Girls’ Grammar School student started playing the violin when she was only eight years old before later switching to the viola.
“I love music because it gives me the opportunity to be expressive and collaborative in a way that nothing else does,” she said.
Recently, she was chosen from a competitive field of applicants from around the country to participate in the Australian Honours Ensemble Program.
The program allowed her to be involved in more than 20 hours of intensive rehearsal and tuition over four days.
“One of the highlights was a masterclass with Queensland Symphony Orchestra violinist and Queensland Conservatorium of Music teacher Jann Keir-Haanterra,” Sophia said.
“We discussed bowing techniques, tone production, vibrato and musicianship and played a variety of challenging repertoire spanning time periods, countries and styles, from Brisbane composers to Mariachi and Tchaikovsky.
“The event ended with a concert which was so much fun. It was a fantastic experience that taught me so much about orchestral playing, and I am excited to apply the skills I learnt in our IGGS ensembles.”
While music has always been a part of her life, Sophie said she has had some opportunities recently to stretch herself as a performer playing a lead role in the IGGS and IGS musical Strictly Ballroom,.
It saw Sophie combine singing, acting and dancing, which she said was a totally new experience for her.
“I started taking singing lessons for the role, which I continued as one of the soloists in our school’s Contemporary Band.”
In addition to her musical success, Sophie is one of the top academic performers in Year 11 at IGGS.
This year, she won the prize for first in Year 11, as well as prizes for English, German, Mathematical Methods, Physics and Strings.
Head of Co-curricular Performing Arts at Ipswich Girls’ Grammar School Zoe Brecht said Sophie was an outstanding addition to the co-curricular performing arts program.
“Sophie is one of our most dedicated musicians and among our top string students,” she said.
“Her commitment to her musical and performance schedule while maintaining such a strong academic standard is something to be proud of. I commend Sophie for all of her hard work this year and look forward to seeing what she does next year as an IGGS Senior and leader in the Performing Arts.”
During her time at IGGS, Sophie has been in many School ensembles, including the Symphony Orchestra, String Quartet, Dance Troupe, choirs and Contemporary Band.