In rehearsals and on stage, violist Cameren Williams exudes poise and skill far beyond her 13 years.
But when the middle-schooler recently found out that she would be performing at New York’s famed Carnegie Hall this month, her reaction was fairly typical.
“I screamed and I ran around the whole house,” she said, a giant smile lighting up her face.
|Palm Beach Atlantic University Preparatory student Cameren Williams, left, receives instruction from her teacher, Belen Clifford, in Vera Lea Rinker Hall.|
Williams, an eighth-grader at Bak Middle School of the Arts, was chosen to perform as a soloist in an international music competition at Carnegie Hall. The competition, sponsored by American Protégé, takes place on Sunday.
She plans to perform the first movement of “Concerto in C Minor” by Johann Sebastian Bach, the piece that she performed in her audition video.
Musical talent runs in Williams’s blood. Her parents Erika and Eusebius Williams are both musicians, and her grandmother is a pianist and vocalist as well.
For the past several years, Williams has been involved in the Preparatory Department at Palm Beach Atlantic University, where she trains with her teacher Belen Clifford. She also attends weekly rehearsals for the Broward County-based Florida Youth Orchestra.
Williams began playing violin in the orchestra program at U.B. Kinsey Elementary School and started lessons at age 8. Today, she says her instrument of choice is the viola.
“She loves the warm sound” of the viola, Clifford said. “She picked it up in less than a year. She’s a true violist, in my opinion.”
Williams said that she loves the instrument’s versatility. “I like the way it makes me feel when I play,” she said. “I can just close off from the rest of the world.”
As the only violist scheduled to perform in the competition, she hopes that her performance will encourage others to consider playing the viola, she said.
She plans someday to attend a music conservatory or possibly a university like PBA, and she eventually hopes to join either the New York Philharmonic or the Cleveland Orchestra. She also is considering becoming a luthier, a person who makes and repairs string instruments.
As she prepares for her upcoming performance, she said that her mother has encouraged her.
“She says just play my best, and my best will sound good,” she said.