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School: Floyd Dryden Middle School.
Art of choice: Violin.
Experience: Seven years.
Reason: "Playing makes me feel happy, but it can be frustrating when I can't get something right. In concertos, you have to move your fingers really fast - it's challenging. You get to play in concerts, and people invite you to do things, like the Student Symphony. Sometimes, on Fridays, I get to go to a church downtown and practice playing with Mrs. Miles other older students (Miles has been Ellie's violin teacher for seven years now)."
All in the family: "Almost everyone in my family plays an instrument. My mom plays the guitar, the recorder, the piano. My dad, my brother and my grandparents all play the piano."
Favorites: "Vivaldi is probably my favorite composer - and Bach. I like fiddle music, too. My favorite piece to play is 'Millionaire's Hoe-Down.' It has a lot of chords."
Activites: "I also like to do visual arts. I like skiing and playing soccer. Mostly, I love playing with animals. I have a hamster, a dog, a cat, two fish, two toads and a gecko."
Future plans: "I think I'll always play the violin. I'd also like to learn to play the saxophone, or the trumpet."
Her beginning orchestra teacher, Mrs. Bastuscheck, says: "I'm so happy Ellie chose to play with us this year. She is a wonderful role model, has a positive attitude and a beautiful smile. Ellie demonstrates a real love for music, and her dedication to the violin is really inspiring. She is also participating in the student symphony this year, as well as helping younger students and performing with her peers."
Student Artist in the Spotlight is a weekly feature on the Neighbors page and is in collaboration with the Juneau School District Elementary Art Program.
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