Most people have probably heard pieces by renowned composers Joseph Haydn or Giuseppe Garibaldi, but few can play them as well as Rosedale resident Rebecca Moranis.
The 13-year-old musician received a gold medal from the Royal Conservatory of Music for earning the highest mark in all of Ontario and Quebec during her grade 5 flute exam this summer.
“There were a couple of performances by people from the (conservatory) which I really liked because it wasn’t just speeches and awards,” Moranis said of the ceremony where she received her medal. “It made me feel extremely proud of my award because of the humongous audience and everybody there. It just felt very important.”
According to Moranis’ teacher, Dianne Aitken, the award holds added importance as Moranis participated in the very first grade 5 flute exams held by the conservatory.
“For me, the thing that was so satisfying was she got her award for grade 5, which is one of the new grades,” Aitken said. “Usually the winds and the brass go every other grade.”
In addition to preparing for her next flute exam, Moranis is also studying for her grade 10 piano examination. Aitken, whose mother plays piano and whose father was awarded the Order of Canada for his accomplishments as a flutist and composer, said Moranis’ piano experience has been instrumental to her success.
“She has strong technique (on the flute) and I would attribute that to the fact that she’s solid with her fingers,” Aitken said.
She’s also no stranger to performing. The University of Toronto Schools student plays cello in her school orchestra and has been dancing at Canada’s National Ballet School for seven years.
“She has a lot of poise when she plays,” Aitken said. “She just has a real presence when she’s playing.
“I think that’s probably because she’s prepared herself, so the more preparation, you’re going to be more confident.”
Moranis said she puts in an hour of practice per day on the flute and the same for piano. She typically doubles her practice time leading up to exams like the one she took in June.
“I was a bit nervous but I was pretty calm because I felt confident in my pieces and I had practised a lot before so I knew I was ready,” she said.
Although Moranis’s schedule is usually filled, the grade 8 student still finds time to meet all of her obligations.
“She’s busy that’s for sure, but she’s always prepared when she comes to her lessons and she’s just keen to learn new things, which is fun as a teacher,” said Aitken.
As for Moranis, she said she’s not working toward any goal; she immerses herself in music simply because she enjoys it.
“I love to play music,” she said. “I don’t know if I’ll necessarily make a career out of it, but I will always play music because I love it. It’s a passion of mine.”
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