Fiona Collins, life of a mini violonist

Words Minseo ‘Mintie’ Cho and Riley Allardice
Images  Wayne ye

I’m Mintie and next to me is Riley. Last week, we went into the Youth Arts and Recreation Centre’s Bunker Studio to interview a girl whose talents range from horse riding and figure skating to playing violin with the Tasmanian Youth Orchestra.

We were all sitting down sort of awkwardly because, well, it was our first interview. However, we quickly broke through that feeling and asked the girl a few questions about her lifestyle and what she wants to do in the future.

The name of this girl is Fiona Collins. She’s a grade 7 student at St Michael’s Collegiate, and she has a very musical family background. When we were talking to her, Riley and I were both quite surprised to learn that Fiona has been jumping from place to place during her life. She was born in Germany and speaks the language fluently, but she comes to Hobart from Sydney and has only lived here for two years!

Fiona has many interesting hobbies and her main one is playing the violin. She explained to us that she picked it up naturally from a very young age, as her mother is a violinist who is heavily involved with the strings and orchestra at the UTAS Conservatorium of music, while her father is acclaimed conductor Johannes Fritzsch. Fiona said she’s never had a formal teacher – she just learnt music from her mum. She’s also a member of the TYO’s Academy Strings, plays in her school’s senior orchestra, and performs with an Irish fiddle group. On her weekdays, Fiona plays for around seven hours through her ensembles alone (personal practice time not included) and Riley and I both thought that was pretty impressive.pref 2.jpg

Outside violin, Fiona likes to read and run, and looks toward her grandparents as role models because they are always happy. The young violinist has her foot in a lot of other doors, too, such as musicals and operas. Even though she’s only 13 years old, she’s already been in two school musicals and two children’s choirs in opera productions, and on top of this she figure skates every weekend.

We asked her about what she wants to do in the future with these things; if she wants to become a musician, and how she plans to balance things out through high schoolFiona wishes to continue all her musical activities, and she’s already made sacrifices, dropping numerous other activities such as netball, horse riding, and ballet so she can keep playing the violin.

Fiona realises it’ll be hard to balance her activities in the future, and that taking violin as a main hobby could be pretty stressful. She used to do dancing and netball, but quit when they overlapped with the orchestra. One thing is for sure, Fiona is a girl of many talents and whatever she chooses to do in future, we’re sure music will stay at the top of the list.




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