Sawyer Porter has spent 11 years perfecting her violin skills all for a 15-minute audition.
The Middleton High sophomore walked into West Ada’s Idaho Fine Art Academy with three songs she had spent years practicing — Martin’s Waltz, Don’t Let Your Deal Go Down and Tom and Jerry.
“I was nervous during the audition and I didn’t know what to expect,” Porter said.
She was pleased with her three-song performance — and then the unimaginable happened. A judge asked her to improv — to make up music.
“When the judges told me to improv, I was kind of shocked,” Porter said.
Her improv skills and musical talent earned her acceptance into the Eagle school. Nearly 170 dancers, artists, musicians, thespians and vocalists auditioned for only 40 open spots for the 2016-17 school year.
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“I can tell you as a musician, Sawyer is an exceptional player and that is an undeniable fact,” said Christian Housel, the principal at Idaho Fine Arts Academy.
Students who audition go through a competitive process with local judges who are in the field of performing arts. Sawyer decided to audition because of the advanced music challenges the school offers.
“I have always wanted to bring joy and peace to others through music,” Porter said. “There has always been the knowledge that it could be an amazing force for good. But now, maybe there is a clearer path to follow going to this school.”
Though Sawyer practices the violin for at least two hours a day, she is an honor student who holds a 4.0 grade-point average and enjoys time with her friends. When Sawyer isn’t performing with the music department at Middleton, she is busy competing in fiddle contest around the country.
“I’m thrilled to be able to grow musically,” Sawyer said.
She plans to go to college and has an eye on playing folk music at Brigham Young University.
“BYU would be a neat college to play music for, but I’m keeping my options open,” Porter said.
With the new adventure of getting out of her comfort zone, Porter wants to someday take her talents to the classroom and teach instrumental music.
“I can’t wait to work with other students who love music as much as I do,” Porter said. “This is an amazing opportunity.”