2018 Angela Schuster Svendsen Young Musician Competition winner
Keeley Brooks is a fifteen year-old violinist from the Methow Valley in rural Washington state. She first fell in love with the violin as a kindergartener listening to a local group of young string players. She turned to her Mom and said, "I want to do that." Her Mom listened to her wish and contacted Pam Hunt, the local strings teacher. A few months later Keeley started lessons and has been playing ever since. Her first seven years of study were with the Hunt studio where she learned the Suzuki method. For the last three years she has been studying with Michelle Vaughn, concertmaster of the Wenatchee Valley Symphony. Keeley's two teachers have been instrumental in her life because they have guided her on her journey as a musician and taught her the tools she needs to be successful. Keeley feels inspired by their work and wants to share her joy of music like they do. Therefore, she is offering summer practice lessons to begin sharing everything she has learned with a new generation of violinists.
Throughout the years Keeley has attended a variety of music camps which have connected her with other musicians and taught her valuable lessons on how to play with large groups. These camps include: the Japan Seattle Suzuki Institute, Pipestone Music Camp, Icicle Creek Center for the Arts Summer Symphony and the Marrowstone Music Festival Summer Symphony. She has also performed in several orchestras and chamber groups around the valley and in Washington State. From 2012-2015 Keeley was a member of the Pipestone Youth Orchestra. From 2015-2016 she participated in the Pipestone Community Orchestra and for the 2017-2018 school year, she was a member of Prima Vista Challenge Orchestra in Wenatchee, Washington. Since 2015 she has also been a part of the Papillon String Quartet with three fellow classmates at Liberty Bell High School.
Keeley has entered in numerous competitions. In 2013 she won the first-ever Christine Cherrington Merit Award Competition and in 2015 was the runner up in the same competition. In 2016 she tied for first place in the Cherrington Merit Award Competition. In March, Keeley was faced with a decision. She qualified for the junior nationals cross-country ski race but it conflicted with the Wenatchee Valley Symphony Young Musician Competition. She chose to compete in the musician competition and is very excited that she made that choice. She auditioned with the first Movement of Concerto in E Minor Opus 64 by Felix Mendelssohn and will be performing in the fall. In May, Keeley competed in the 3A Adjudicators Choice String Solo section of the Spokane Music Festival and received a silver medal. She performed the second movement of Felix Mendelssohn's Concerto in E Minor Opus 64.
When Keeley isn't playing the violin she can be found cross-country skiing, running cross-country and track and spending time with family and friends. She loves exploring the beautiful Methow Valley that she calls home. If she had to sum up why she loves the violin in one sentence, Keeley would say it is the joy she feels of making music and then sharing it with others. She is very honored and excited to have the opportunity to perform with the Wenatchee Vaalley Symphony this fall.