Sisters Win Violettes by Becky Youth Competitions


2017 Annual Violettes by Becky

Youth Composition Competition
Sisters, Helena and Fiona Abney McPeek Both Win First Place

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Repeat participants in the Violettes by Becky Youth Composition Competition, Helena and Fiona Abney-McPeek have both placed before. This year they have something special to celebrate, as they both have our 2017 first place prizes.

 

Violettes by Becky Youth Composition Competition Senior Division -

Youth Competition Winner

Helena Abney-McPeek writes, "I started playing Suzuki violin when I was 4 years old.  From the very beginning, I was interested in composing, and I have several pieces for violin and voice that I wrote when I was maybe 5 years old.  Currently I'm 16 years old and a high school junior.  I sing in the a cappella choir at school and play violin in the Chicago Youth Philharmonic Orchestra.  I'm involved in the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra's Composition Seminar and have composed for my high school's musical.  I'm also involved in the Computer Orchestra (an electro-acoustical ensemble) at my school and have composed a piece that we will perform in our concert next month. My other interests include math, computer science, science, writing and acting."
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Violettes by Becky Youth Composition Competition Junior Division -
Youth Competition Winner

Eighth grader Fiona Abney-McPeek has been involved with music for much of her life.  She started playing violin when she was a todder. Soon after, she began her first compositions, which she played on violin with her family.  In addition to playing and composing music, Fiona participates in her middle school's Mathcounts, Science Olympiad, robotics, cross country and track teams.  She currently plays in a youth orchestra, sings in the school choir, plays chamber music with her friends and participates in a composition workshop.

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Violettes by Becky sent some questions to Mom for the blog to learn about the family of these amazing young ladies.


Helena has entered the contest 4 times, and younger sister,  Fiona, 3 times.

Youth Competition training A memory treasure for the McPeek Family
Photo shows Helena, Fiona and Mom playing violin trios about 9 years ago.  Mary Sara McPeek, Mom, picked up a bit of violin from sitting in on the kids' lessons. Mrs. McPeek says, "with my (limited) experience on other instruments, I could hang in there and play duets and trios with them when they were little".
"My husband, Mark, and I have a lot more musical enthusiasm than actual developed skill.  Mark has basically no training and doesn't play any instruments.  I am a musical dilettante with little formal training (some flute, mostly self-taught on piano, and some choral experience).  When the kids were little and the pieces were easier, I frequently accompanied them on piano.  The kids left us in the dust musically a number of years ago.  For example, Helena and Fiona both have perfect pitch and can sight-sing together in perfect two-part harmony (or more than two parts if there are others available).  My singing ability is much more limited, and my husband works hard to keep his part.  However, the kids still graciously and enthusiastically allow my husband and me to sing along with them, and they are encouraging when I try to play the piano with them while they play violin or sing."
Youth competition contestants with family "A family portrait taken shortly after my kids had performed at my sister's wedding 1.5 years ago."
In addition to caring about music, we are a family of math and science lovers.  Helena and Fiona are both very interested in areas such as computer science, physics, robotics, math and environmental science.  My husband has expertise in physics, I have expertise in statistics, and we both are academic researchers in statistical genetics/computational biology.  As a result, our family tends to talk a lot about interesting and puzzling science, math and technology problems as we sit around the dinner table.  There will sometimes be robots, hovercraft, or wheeled vehicles being built or programmed in our house, generally by the kids and their friends, with us parents helping to find supplies.  We also love to travel and to do fun stuff outdoors like hike or play ultimate frisbee.
Congratulations to these wonderful young ladies and their family.
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Registration is currently accepted for the 2018 competition. Inquire with any questions to Becky@MusicteacherGifts.com
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