ISOLATION has not stopped a young Armidale cellist from being selected to attend a prestigious music academy.
Abigail Thompson, a year 8 student at The Armidale School, has been accepted into the Australian Chamber Orchestra Academy in July, and also the academy's chamber component, in December.
It will be the second consecutive year Abigail has attended the academy, being one of only five secondary school cellists last year. Her elder sister Emily, a violinist, has also been selected.
"Usually the academy is all one week in July, but they split it into two parts due to COVID. Sadly the July part will have to be held as a 'virtual academy' online," Abigail said.
"As part of the virtual academy, I will get to have two private lessons with an ACO musician, and sectionals and workshops on technique as well as playing in the ensemble online.
"The chamber component will be held on a weekend in December in Sydney, hopefully face to face."
Abigail said she initially thought she would be unable to apply for the academy as she had already committed to a Gondwana choirs tour to New Zealand, which was to take place at the same time as the academy.
"Just as the applications - which were video recorded auditions - for the academy had closed we got a notification that the Gondwana choral symposium tour was cancelled," Abigail said.
"Luckily, the ACO had extended the deadline of the application by a few more days, which meant I just had time to put together an audition video for the academy.
"I'm really looking forward to this academy, and I'm so grateful that they have decided to continue online, otherwise I wouldn't be able to participate in this amazing event.
"I'd like to thank my teacher Sofia Debus who has helped me enormously."