Kelsey Ferguson. A violinist

Kelsey Ferguson is the daughter of two music professionals. But firstly she won’t to follow her parents career.

“At first I was pretty much against it,” she said. “I had always played, but I didn’t like it as much (before); it hadn’t gotten a hold of me yet.

“It wasn’t until this (school) year that I decided to really crack down and become serious about it.”.

Ferguson’s father, Paul Ferguson, a trombonist and composer, teaches jazz history at Case Western Reserve University. He also leads the Paul Ferguson Jazz Orchestra and is lead trombonist and arranger for the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra.

Her mother, Mary Kay Ferguson, plays the flute with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra and works with a chamber music program at CWRU.

Ferguson, 18, began playing piano at age 3 and took up the violin in fourth grade as a part of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights school district’s music program. Ferguson, of Cleveland Heights, said she started practicing the Mendelssohn violin concerto her junior year, with the idea of using it to audition for a senior solo. Ferguson has been accepted at the DePaul University School of Music in Chicago, where she will double major in music performance and a yet-to-be determined subject starting this fall.

Ferguson has studied with Stephen Sims at the Cleveland Institute of Music since last summer, and she gives him much credit for her success.

She also is grateful to both sets of grandparents. Her maternal grandparents purchased the violin she will use for her solo, and her paternal grandparents have helped fund her travel for musical programs.

In addition to being a four-year member of the Heights High Symphony, Ferguson also has played in chamber groups at the high school and is part of what she calls a “stellar” piano trio. Other members of the trio are junior pianist Kate Miller and freshman cellist Alice Janigro

Ferguson is vice president of the National Honor Society and a member of the Tri-M Music Honor Society. She also has taken part in Model United Nations and varsity swim team at Heights High. Her career goal is to find a job as a violinist in an orchestra, after she earns a master’s degree.

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