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"Teenage Riverview flutist wins national award" ... BRAVO Naomi!
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
"Teenage Riverview flutist wins national award" ... BRAVO Naomi!
Riverview flute player Naomi Ford has won the Grand Award at the 2017 National Music Festival. (Submitted by Naomi Ford)

Source: CBC News Posted: Aug 16, 2017 11:59 AM AT Last Updated: Aug 16, 2017 1:25 PM AT

16-year-old feels 'overwhelmed' by award, which soprano Measha Brueggergosman won 21 years ago

The flute-playing talent of 16-year-old Naomi Ford of Riverview impressed the judges at the 2017 National Music Festival  more than any other young musician from across Canada.

"I went for the experience, I never imagined I would win," Ford wrote in an email from her native England, where she's visiting family.

Ford was among 62 amateur musicians from across Canada, aged 14 to 27, who performed in eight disciplines — piano, strings, voice, woodwinds, brass, classical guitar, chamber groups, and musical theatre — last week in Ottawa.

'I love the flute because of its ability to soar above the orchestra.'- Naomi Ford, award-winning flutist

She was recommended to represent New Brunswick by adjudicators at the provincial music festival.

"It was … a little overwhelming but my mum came with me since I'm young," Ford said. "And it was lovely to be in an atmosphere of music all around."

The winners in each discipline competed Saturday, and Ford won the Grand Award, which comes with a prize of $5,000.

"I was happy with how I played," she said. "I just meant to communicate something more than notes to the audience, and I felt I did that.

"Once I am onstage, I trust my fingers to remember the notes, and focus on the beauty of music."

Schooled at home

The teen is the daughter of David and Anne Ford and has been home-schooled by her mother since kindergarten, which, she said, has given her the flexibility to spend a lot of time on music. 

Ford likes to listen to classical music and opera in her spare time, and she and her violinist sister also perform together.

"I originally wanted to play cello, but my dad decided it was too big, so he said I could play the flute since it was small," Ford said.

"But now I love the flute because of its ability to soar above the orchestra and sing like a violin. And it's unique from all the other wind instruments."

Famous soprano an earlier winner

Ford started playing flute the year after she and her family moved to Riverview. She also plays piano. Her music teacher is Karin Aurell and she's a member of the New Brunswick Youth Orchestra. 

"I'm quite overwhelmed, but looking forward to all the opportunities that are springing up from it," Ford said of her award.

"Also, I heard that I am the first person from NB to win since Measha [Brueggergosman], who's now a world-renowned soprano. In fact, the NBYO went on tour with Measha this summer, so it's really exciting for me to follow in her footsteps."

Brueggergosman won the Grand Award in 1996.

Ford said her dream when she finishes high school is to study flute in a top music academy and play in a world-class orchestra. 

Part of the Grand Award prize will be a chance to play as a soloist with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra.