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“Having the opportunity to connect and touch people in this way reminds me why the arts are so important and I feel so lucky to be able to pursue this as a career. It is a privilege to dedicate your life to something you love.”
She adds: “I think it is important when you are young to follow your passion, whatever that may be. True passion connects and speaks to people. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of hard work and sacrifice when you are young, but your future older self will thank you for persevering.”
Després has another two years at Juilliard and lives her own advice.
She has won 15 scholarships in the last three years, including those offered by the Anne Burrows Music Foundation; the Edmonton Community Foundation; the Alberta Foundation for the Arts; the Kiwanis Music Festival; the St. Albert Musical Festival; the Aspen Music Festival and a Juilliard School merit scholarship.
“Competitions are a stepping-stone and a learning experience,” she says. “I plan to take part in more in the future.”
Gabrielle, COVID-19 won’t last forever. Please keep your passport up to date.