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Celebrating Our Graduating Seniors!

2020 has been an unusual and difficult year for students around the world. My students Hazel and Ella reflect on their musical journey and plans for their future.






Ella has studied piano, voice, songwriting, and was a member of an Outreach Ensemble, alongside fellow senior Hazel.


What are/were your plans after high school, and how have they changed recently?

EJ: I always thought that after high school I would move far away from Asheville hopefully to New York or LA but after getting into UNCA where my mom is a teacher I decided it wouldn’t be too bad to stick around for a few more years. In college, I plan on majoring in either music or psychology and studying abroad in England or South Korea. After that I’m not really sure I know I want to play music as long as possible and maybe even become a music therapist using what helped me to help others.


What is the most important thing you’ve learned from studying music that you will carry with you?

EJ: The most important thing I’ve learned that I will take with me is to be more confident in my music and in myself as well. It has also helped with sticking to things I enjoy even when they are hard or challenging.


Do you have a favorite memory from your time at AMS?

EJ: My favorite memory from AMS is probably when my outreach ensemble and I performed at the synagogue talent show.


Will you continue to play and/or study music in this next phase of your life? If so, how?

EJ: I will definitely continue playing and learning music throughout college and the rest of my life, currently, I have been uploading covers and original songs on my sound cloud (Ella Judson on Soundcloud) and I will probably continue doing that for a while.


Do you aspire to work in the music industry, or be involved in the arts? If so, in what way?

EJ: I would love to work in the music industry either as a professional musician, a producer or as a music therapist, really just any way I can keep doing what I love to do.



Hazel has been a student of Gabrielle Tee’s for 4 years, a summer camper, and has been a guitarist and singer in our Sound Education outreach program. Congrats Hazel! We wish you all the best in your future endeavors!

WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS AFTER HIGH SCHOOL? When I was younger I saw myself doing something dance or music related as a job but I wasn’t exactly sure what job, but now my current plan after high school is to attend UNCA and possibly major in psychology and minor in dance, but that could change in the future. After college, I’m thinking of getting a job as a recreational therapist, specializing in dance and art therapy.

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU’VE LEARNED THAT YOU WILL CARRY WITH YOU? I actually didn’t think I’d perform music again after I left middle school band in 7th grade, but a good friend of mine asked me if I’d be interested in doing ukulele lessons with her and the rest is history. Before I started lessons I had stage fright when it came to singing in public and through lessons and the outreach ensemble with Gabrielle Tee, I’ve learned to break out of my shell a little more.

DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE MEMORY FROM YOUR TIME AT AMS? It’s hard to pick just one memory, but I think my favorite memory was writing and performing our own original song during camp last summer. I got to play ukulele and rap in one song so it was pretty fun.

WILL YOU CONTINUE TO PLAY AND/OR STUDY MUSIC IN THIS NEXT PHASE OF YOUR LIFE? IF SO, HOW? I do want to continue playing and performing music because it’s such an important part of my life. I also want to continue writing lyrics, since I find it very meditative and therapeutic. I’ve actually been thinking about starting a band at UNCA or just getting a jam session going with other students that play music.

DO YOU ASPIRE TO WORK IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY, OR BE INVOLVED IN THE ARTS? IF SO, IN WHAT WAY? At the moment I have no plans to work in the music industry, but I do plan to continue playing music and dancing as a hobby until I physically can’t anymore.