Flauting her stuff

By Geoff Lee

June 16, 2016 12:00 AM

Holy Rosary High School student Shelbey Bouck just came off a tour with the National youth Band of Canada and will now be heading to Bregenz, Austria to practise with acclaimed flautist Jasmine Choi.

It’s been a busy and successful year for Grade 11 Holy Rosary High School flautist Shelbey Bouck.
Last month she auditioned for the National Youth Band of Canada, which ended with Bouck touring Saskatchewan performing several concerts in less than a week.
“That’s basically people from ages 16 to 22, we’re put into this band and we toured around Saskatchewan and put on seven concerts in three days,” she said.
“There were only about 10 other people who weren’t in university and the band was made up of about 70 people.”
Being only 16 years old put Bouck as one of the younger performers in the band, which could be seen as good experience for a young player such as herself.
The National Youth Band is just the beginning of her achievements for 2016, however, as Bouck was also accepted to the International Master Class that’s being taught by accomplished flautist Jasmine Choi in Bregenz, Austria this summer.
She’ll be joining eight other flautists from around the world, who’ll play and be critiqued by Choi, whom Bouck counts as one of her musical idols.
“It’s crazy that I get this opportunity to meet her,” said Bouck.
“Basically what we’ll be doing is playing a piece for her, probably about three times, then she’s going to critique us and help teach us through those pieces and help us learn to become better flute players.”
Choi is originally from South Korea, but trained on the flute in the U.S., and tours the world with different orchestra groups.
“She’s really expressive and she definitely puts her all into her performing and everything she does just seems flawless; she’s really elegant in everything she does,” Bouck said.
She got the idea to apply for the International Master Class from her music teacher Aaron Sikora, who knew Bouck goes to band camp every summer and suggested she step it up a notch.
There was skepticism at first with Bouck thinking there was no way she’d get accepted, but Sikora kept urging her to apply to see what would happen.
In the end she applied and much to her excitement she got accepted, putting a trip to Austria in her near future.
“We were on a band trip when we found out and he was just so happy,” Bouck said of Sikora.
“He went on the intercom on the bus and let everybody know, he was just so proud of me.”
She’s been playing the flute for about six years now, picking it up in Grade 6 band class because she said it sounded pretty and was small to carry compared to other instruments.
Now she plays every single day, trying to put in an hour minimum whenever her studies allow, and tutors other students in her school who need tips on improving their skills.
“Sometimes if students need help I’m always up for helping them,” she said.
“Especially beginning students, if they need help, I’m totally up for giving lessons.”
As for her trip to Austria and chance to meet Choi, Bouck hopes to soak up the experience and come back to Canada a more accomplished flute player herself.
“It’s been really crazy, I’ve felt really blessed to be part of—and accepted to—these wonderful opportunities and especially Austria, that was just a crazy dream I thought would never happen and now it is,” she said.
“It’s crazy.”

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