Park U graduate invited to prestigious violin competition in Singapore

Michael Ronnebaum
January 17, 2018 - 4:35 am

A student at Park University is one of only five Americans invited to play at the Singapore International Violin Competition later in January.

Laurel Gagnon tells KMBZ she started playing the violin when she was only three.

"I used to listen to Dvořák violin concerto on repeat when I was eight or nine," Gagnon said. "My parents would be like, 'Not that again!'"

When Gagnon was 14 her parents realized their daughter had the potential to go beyond playing as a hobby.

"When I was younger they sent me away to a summer festival," Gagnon. "That's probably about the time they realized I was really into this."

Gagnon will take part in one of the most prestigious violin competitions in the world. She practices to calm her nerves.

"That is the easiest way to keep nerves at bay for me," Gagnon said. "I just keep practicing, keep focusing on what I can do to make it go smoother."

Violin instructor Ben Sayevich met Gagnon when she was in her mid teens. He said she could be a top tier musician.

"She was accepted into a very, very competitive competition," Sayevich said. "You can imagine, 35 people from all over the world -- that's a huge honor, right there."

Gagnon graduated from Park last year and is seeking a Master's degree in Music Performance at the university's International Center for Music.

Her goal after Singapore is simple; keep practicing and get better.

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