Source: Sherman Publications

Have violin, will travel

June 15, 2011

Oxford resident Megan Wixom, 16, is getting the opportunity of a lifetime.

Starting June 19, she will traveling to Europe for a month with the Blue Lake International Symphony Orchestra to perform in some of the most prestigious concert halls in Germany, Belgium and France.

“I think it will be pretty cool to play in all the different venues over there and learn about the culture,” Wixom said.

Wixom, who plays the violin, will sit first chair violin in the 92-member orchestra comprised of students from around the United States.

In addition to playing the violin, she will also serve as the assistant concertmaster and have to learn some solos to perform when the concertmaster cannot attend an event.

Wixom will make decisions regarding bowing and other technical details of violin playing and will also lead the orchestra in tuning before the concert and rehearsals.

She will have plenty of opportunities to study and expand her knowledge about life in Europe as she will be staying with eight different host families during her tour of Germany, Belgium and France.

“That will be really neat to see what their life is like over there and seeing all the different sites and touring around with them,” Wixom said.

Wixom has been attending Blue Lakes Fine Arts Camp, located in Michigan’s Manistee National Park, for the past two years. The camp annually serves more than 5,300 elementary, junior high and high school students with diverse programs in music, art, dance and drama. Since 1966, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp has provided cultural enrichment for 300,000 students.

Wixom has also participated in Oakland University’s Youth Orchestra since fifth grade and the Orion Chamber Music Society since seventh grade.

Wixom, who is currently homeschooled, hopes to attend either Michigan State University or the Cleveland Institute of Music upon completion.

She said the hardest thing about playing the violin is finding time to practice at home with six brothers and sisters.

“It’s really hard to be able to play and practice without being interrupted,” she said. “But the violin is really fun.”