Jemison Middle School student named Outstanding Musician

Published 1:29 pm Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Hannah Ellison performed as a soloist with the Alabama Youth Symphony in March.

Hannah Ellison performed as a soloist with the Alabama Youth Symphony in March.

Violinist Hannah Ellison of Jemison has earned the honor of Outstanding Musician in the Birmingham Prelude Strings for the third consecutive year.

The Birmingham Prelude Strings is one of three youth orchestras in the Music Opportunity Program in Birmingham, a program that strives to provide young people with an education that results in a lifelong love for music.

Ellison, a 7th grader at Jemison Middle School, has performed in the program for four years and has quite the list of accomplishments to show for it.

The spring concert was the culmination of the 2014-2015 season for the Youth Orchestra Program, and Ellison served as the concertmaster for the orchestra as they performed five pieces in the program, including “Chorale” and “March” by Johann Sebastian Bach and a traditional rendition of “Over the River” and “Through the Woods.”

In addition to her awards in the spring season, Ellison also had the honor of performing as a soloist with the Alabama Youth Symphony, a full orchestra for advanced student musicians.

The Music Opportunity Program held its annual showcase recital at Hewitt-Trussville High-School Auditorium, where Ellison performed Concerto No. 1 in A minor by the Belgian composer Jean-Baptiste Accolay with the Alabama Youth Symphony.

At the recital, Ellison also performed as concertmaster for the Prelude Strings which featured Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Dance of the Tumblers.”

“’Dance of the Tumblers’ was probably my favorite piece,” Ellison said. “It’s very energetic. The faster pieces are usually more difficult for me, but this one turned out to be my favorite.”

Ellison also shared that she will be joining the Alabama Youth Symphony in the upcoming year.

“I’m nervous and ready for it at the same time,” Ellison said. “I’ve enjoyed all of it so far.”

Ellison was also chosen to perform in the Violin I section of the Sinfonia Orchestra as part of the 2015 All-State Orchestra Festival at the University of Alabama for the second consecutive year.

The orchestra featured Bizet’s L’Arlesienne’s Suite No. 1 and 2.

In addition to practicing every day at home, Ellison also receives weekly lessons from private instructor Julie Slama of Thorsby.

Hannah Ellison’s mother, Raynette Ellison, said it all started when Hannah asked for a violin for Christmas.

“Hannah was four years old when she asked for a violin,” Raynette Ellison said. “She’s very determined. She will keep practicing until she gets it right.”

Her determination has earned her a spot as the youngest member on the Alabama Youth Symphony, and Hannah Ellison isn’t planning on laying the violin down anytime soon.

“Ever since I saw someone playing at church, I’ve loved the violin,” Ellison said. “I just want to become a better player and a better person.”