Grand Forks music student wins regional award

An 11-year-old Perley Elementary student won a gold medal for a singing exam through the Royal Conservatory of Music.

Rowyn Moriarity holds up her Royal Conservatory of Music regional gold medal.

Rowyn Moriarity holds up her Royal Conservatory of Music regional gold medal.

Rowyn Moriarity is a Grade 5 student at Perley Elementary with an amazing musical talent.

The 11-year-old won a regional gold medal for her singing skills last June in Nelson through the Royal Conservatory of Music.

The Royal Conservatory of Music, based out of Toronto, has a thorough music-training program for kids studying every instrument and singing voice from beginner to advance. Every year thousands of students throughout the country are examined to demonstrate their musical knowledge.

“Each year students who receive highest marks provincially are awarded a regional gold medal,” said Joan Thompson, Moriarity’s voice instructor.

Moriarity was awarded with a regional gold medal on March 3, at the Chan Centre at the University of British Columbia, for her performance on her Grade 1 voice exam.

Moriarity told the Gazette that she was “very excited” to win such a prestigious award.

“I was delighted that she achieved what she did,” said Thompson. “That’s pretty outstanding to win such an award. Just to be top in B.C. obviously is a great honour.”

Awards aside, this 11-year-old girl said singing is just part of her everyday life.

“Sometimes it’s embarrassing at school because I will be cleaning out my desk or something and then I randomly burst out into song,” she said, adding that she sings for the better part of the day.

“Rowyn has been singing since she was born,” said Michele Moriarity, Rowyn’s grandmother. “She sings in the shower, she sings when she is walking, she sings a lot.”

It was Rowyn’s voice that caught her music teacher’s attention in the first place.

“It all started with Joan Thompson, who was teaching Rowyn music at Perley Elementary before she retired,” said Moriarity.  “One day she phoned me out of the blue and said she would like to teach Rowyn. She recognized something in Rowyn that we hadn’t really seen or done anything about.”

So in 2010, Thompson began coaching the young songstress with private voice lessons.

“She has an incredibly keen, single-minded interest, her face would light up as soon as she walked into the music room,” said her music teacher. “She loved it, just loved it.”

Thompson decided to enroll her in the Royal Conservatory Music Program, which was administered through Thompson.

The Grade 5 student said she is learning music theory and constantly training her vocal chords as well as learning the piano.

After winning a gold for her Grade 1 voice exam, she has since moved up to Grade 3, which she will be tested on in June.

She is a fan of classical folk music, but she said she also gets her inspiration from artists like Joni Mitchell and Taylor Swift.

Rowyn already has a few ideas in terms of a career path.

“Right now I am thinking about being a veterinarian but I might want to take a profession in singing,” she said.