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Elana Sydenham is a flute student with Central Coast Conservatorium of Music’s Head of Woodwind, Rosalie Bourne. A 2022 Allen Family Scholarship finalist, Elana is also a finalist in the Pearl Beach Senior Scholarships being held on 26 May and recently performed with Regional Youth Orchestra NSW and musicians from the London Symphony Orchestra at Sydney Opera House.

When did you start playing music? When I was 8 years old

What instruments do you play? Flute and piccolo

Why did you decide to play the flute? My brother inspired me to play the flute. I  heard him playing when I was very young and I wanted to do the same.

What do you love about playing music? I enjoy playing for others and seeing their enjoyment listening to the music, anything from solo to orchestra and even musicals.

What’s the hardest thing about playing the flute? The hardest thing is when I’m nervous playing is harder because air flow isn’t as steady and your fingers can get sweaty and shaky.

How do you make sure you practice? I record the time I practice so that way I can see over the week how much time I had on my flute. I prefer to do a few shorter sessions than very long ones to make up the time.

Who is your musical inspiration? I mentioned my brother, he learnt from Vanessa Couper and so did I when I first started. I also had Jennifer Knight for a short while and now Rosalie Bourne. My teachers are all amazing and a great inspiration to me. So are my fellow flute players, Emma, Kayla and Sophie.

What has been the highlight of your musical career so far? There have been many, especially over the last year. I have enjoyed taking part in the Sydney Eisteddfod, NSW Flute Society Eisteddfod and Gala Day. I have performed in Youth in Performing Arts and the Pearl Beach Senior Scholarship Concert. The Allen Family Scholarship  was definitely a highlight for me. I have also enjoyed a few masterclass opportunities and I am looking forward to taking part in projects with Sydney Youth Orchestra and Regional Youth Orchestra NSW. 

What do you hope to do in the future? I would like to play professionally and be in a famous orchestra. In the shorter term, I am enjoying working together with Emma on some duets.