Local musician cleans up at festival

Serena Jack has her sights set high for her musical career including Juilliard and travel

Serena Jack recently took home three first-place awards in violin and three first-place awards in piano at the Upper Island Music Festival

Serena Jack recently took home three first-place awards in violin and three first-place awards in piano at the Upper Island Music Festival

LISSA ALEXANDER

reporter@pqbnews.com

Serena Jack was filled with passion and ambition the moment she picked up the violin at five years old.

And the 14-year-old’s recent stack of first place certificates from the Upper Island Music Festival in Nanaimo, in both violin and piano, confirms her enthusiasm for music hasn’t wavered, and the sky’s the limit for her musical career.

“When I first started playing I knew it didn’t sound very good at first, but to me that sound was really great, so I thought if it was great now what will it look like in 10 years?” she said.

The Parksville resident recently picked up three first-place awards in all three categories she entered for Grade 8 violin and three first-place awards in all three categories she entered in Grade 6 piano. Plus she won two bursaries, one for each instrument, for her exceptional performances at the competition.

This was the first time Jack competed in piano and the third time she has entered for violin, for which she has taken home a number of other first place awards in the past.

But this year proved more difficult than past years, and not because of a lack of determination. Jack almost didn’t enter the competition this year because her grandmother was sick with cancer in Calgary and she was flying back and forth repeatedly to the city while she was meant to be preparing for the competition. Her grandmother passed away in January and a week before the festival Jack played the violin at her funeral.

“It was a bit of a struggle but it was really good because it was a good challenge for me,” she said. “Violin just always makes me happy.”

Jack’s love for the violin began while taking Kinder music at five years old and hearing a violin from the shop next door. She asked her mom if she could get one and for her sixth birthday she was given a rental. Her mom told her if she practised every day then she could get her own violin and lessons.

“So I practised every day for a long time,” Jack said cheerfully.

Jack said she thinks she had an infatuation with the violin because it was a lot trickier than other instruments and she likes a challenge.

She took up the piano two years ago because she is working towards her teacher’s certification with the Royal Conservatory of Music, and she needs to have piano under her belt as well.

She said learning the piano has been fun, and she loves “flying around” the keys. And because she has developed into such a strong violinist, learning the piano was pretty easy, she said.

Jack is home-schooled and will be entering Grade 11 this September (a year earlier than usual). Upon graduation she hopes to attend a music university like Juilliard in New York City or the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music, where she’ll focus on violin. And she looks forward to a wide ranging performance career.

For now Jack is looking forward to attending some music camps this summer, two in the United States and one in Comox, which she’ll use her bursary money to attend.

Until then she’ll continue to enjoy practising the violin and honing her craft.

“It’s very free, and when I’m playing a certain kind of music, I know how to make it sound really incredible, and I love that.”

Jack will be holding her second children’s summer music camp with local musician Gerry Barnum this August. The two will teach kids aged 9-12 a variety of instruments including violin, guitar, percussion as well as voice.

The camp will run for five days which have yet to be confirmed. For more information e-mail greenotejack@hotmail.com.

 

Just Posted

Morningstar Golf Club in Parksville will host the 2021 B.C. Junior Golf Championships. (PQB News file photo)
Morningstar Golf Club in Parksville to host 150 of B.C’s top junior golfers

Provincial boys and girls championship begins June 28

Hannes Grosse, left, and Iris Steigemann, right, as they prepared for their 'Moments of Silence' exhibit. The father-daughter duo are showing at The Old School House Arts Centre in Qualicum Beach until June 26. (Submitted photo)
Cortes Island artists exhibit at Qualicum Beach’s TOSH in first father-daughter show

Both artists will be present at shows on Friday, June 25 and Saturday, June 26

The Lighthouse Country Marine Rescue Society will get more funding from the Regional District of Nanaimo. (Submitted Photo)
More PQB communities to fund Lighthouse Country Marine Rescue Society

RDN to introduce amendment to service bylaw contribution

A slide on best practices when reporting a suspected impaired driver that was presented to Parksville city council on June 7 by Margarita Bernard, a volunteer with MADD. The organization’s Report Impaired Drivers campaign involves the installation of informative signs within the City of Parksville. (Mandy Moraes photo)
MADD brings campaign to report impaired drivers to Parksville

Aim is to raise awareness that 911 should be called

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Kimberly Bussiere and other laid-off employees of Casino Nanaimo have launched a class-action lawsuit against the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Laid-off Great Canadian Gaming Corp. workers in B.C. launch class-action lawsuit

Notice of civil claim filed on April 6 at Supreme Court of B.C. in Nanaimo

A float plane crashed into the waters near Painters Lodge in Campbell River on Thursday morning. Photo by Alistair Taylor / Campbell River Mirror
Float plane crashes into water near Campbell River

Pilot uninjured, plane hit sandbar while landing

John Kromhoff with some of the many birthday cards he received from ‘pretty near every place in the world’ after the family of the Langley centenarian let it be known that he wasn’t expecting many cards for his 100th birthday. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Cards from all over the world flood in for B.C. man’s 100th birthday

An online invitation by his family produced a flood of cards to mark his 100th birthday

FILE – Nurse Iciar Bercian prepares a shot at a vaccine clinic for the homeless in Calgary, Alta., Wednesday, June 2, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
B.C. scientists to study effectiveness of COVID vaccines in people with HIV

People living with HIV often require higher doses of other vaccines

A 50-year-old woman lost control of her vehicle Tuesday, June 15, crashing through a West Vancouver school fence that surrounds playing children. (West Vancouver Police)
Driver ticketed for speeding near B.C. school crashes into playground fence days later

‘It’s an absolute miracle that nobody was injured,’ says Const. Kevin Goodmurphy

Dr. Réka Gustafson, who is British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer, speaks during a news conference in Vancouver on April 8, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. public health officials prepare to manage COVID-19 differently in the future

Flu-like? Health officials anticipate shift from pandemic to communicable disease control strategies

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Most Read