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Q&A with Rebanks Fellow Rebecca Anderson

Rebanks Fellow Rebecca Anderson

A native of Portland, Oregon, Rebanks Fellow Rebecca Anderson is a versatile soloist and chamber musician whose recent appearances include a solo performance with the Philadelphia Orchestra as well as collaborative projects with Questlove, Ben Folds, Yo-Yo Ma, and orchestral collective The Knights.

Rebecca has studied at the Curtis Institute of Music and The Juilliard School and this year is one of six students from around the world selected for the 2015-16 Rebanks Family Fellowship and International Performance Residency Program, a one-year program of The Glenn Gould School for extraordinary artists on the cusp of a professional career. The Program includes private study with exceptional faculty and guest artists, concert presentations and career coaching, along with marketing training and support.

We caught up with Rebecca in advance of her upcoming North American tour to get her insights on the benefits of the Rebanks Family Fellowship Program and the kind of students who will thrive in it.

Describe an average day as a Rebanks Fellow.

One of my favorite parts of being a Rebanks Fellow is my ability to create my own schedule. When I can, I try to structure my day like a ‘typical" work-day: going to school around 9:00am to practice in the morning, sending emails and getting other computer work done over lunch, and practicing (or rehearsing) more in the afternoon before heading home around 5:00pm. It’s not often that musicians are able to have such a regular schedule, but I’ve found that treating practicing and rehearsing like a ‘job’ and trying to keep evenings free makes me much more productive, inspired, and happy when I am playing violin.

What do you enjoy most about the Rebanks Family Fellowship Program?

This year has given me the luxury of time and resources to create my own projects, without distractions from gigging or doing lots of additional freelance work. I am traveling for all of February and March, workshopping a recital program at the Banff Arts Centre before taking it on tour to Houston, New York City, Portland, and San Francisco. Were I trying to freelance – or required to be in class – I wouldn’t be able to schedule such an extensive project.

What would you tell a colleague considering the Rebanks Family Fellowship Program for post-graduate study?

I would recommend the Program to anyone who is self-driven and has a clear idea of what kind of projects they would like to realize through the year. A lot of free time can be paralyzing if you don’t have a clear concept of what you are working towards! If you do have ideas, though, the Rebanks Family Fellowship Program provides a unique platform to bring individual projects to life.

How do you think the Rebanks Family Fellowship Program will support your long-term career goals?

Giving a recital tour in different cities with various types of venues, from house concerts to typical concert halls, has been a project I’ve wanted to put together for several years. The Rebanks Family Fellowship Program gave me the opportunity to schedule my travel in March as a kind of pilot project for this type of tour. Moving forward, I have an understanding of the amount of time (and the type of logistical organization) it takes to put together a month-long tour of this size, and I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to realize this project. 

Applications for The Rebanks Family Fellowship and International Performance Residency are open until April 1, 2016. For more information, please visit rcmusic.ca/rebanksfellowship.

The 2015-16 Rebanks Family Fellowship Concert Series will feature Rebanks Fellows performing in Mazzoleni Concert Hall on March 29 and April 12, 2016. Tickets will be available one month in advance of each event at performance.rcmusic.ca.

The Royal Conservatory thanks the Rebanks Family and The W. Garfield Weston Foundation for their generous support of this innovative program.

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Violinist and 2015-16 Rebanks Fellow Rebecca Anderson offers insights into the benefits of the Rebanks Family Fellowship Program and the kind of students who will thrive in it.