SOTY winner heads to University of Rochester in America on three scholarships worth US$51,000

By Ben Pang
By Ben Pang |

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Elise Liu Chi-man of Diocesan Girls' School wins three scholarships worth US$51,000.

A Student of the Year winner has won three scholarships worth around US$51,000. This will be enough to cover all of her tuition fees at a prestigious music institution in the United States. Elise Liu Chi-man, who was the 2015 SOTY Performing Artist winner, was awarded the Dean Performance Award (Eastman School of Music), the Bernard Van Zuiden Music Fund, and the Hong Kong Scholarship for Excellence Scheme.

The 18-year-old marimbist will study for a bachelor of music degree (majoring in percussion) at the Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester in New York.

“The time and effort [I’ve put into studying music] has paid off. I’m so glad my scholarships will cover the four-year tuition fee,” Liu told Young Post today.

When asked why she chose the Eastman School of Music, she said the curriculum there was very appealing. “The syllabus places emphasis on both the theoretical and the practical sides of music. This means, after completing the course, I’ll be well-equipped on both aspects. I’ll learn so much from my instructor, Professor Michael Burritt, too, in terms of musical techniques and expression. He’s a well-respected composer, and has many distinguished performances and musical works.”

Liu also added she’s very impressed with how much support the university gives to its students. “It’s also filled with lots of musical facilities, and has many active percussion composers. I’ll be exposed to a lot of chamber and orchestral concerts too,” the former Diocesan Girls’ School student said.

Liu added she hopes she’ll be able to spend more time practising other percussion instruments, such as the drums, during her time in the US. “To be a good percussionist I’ll need to be skilled with many instruments, so I’ll get involved with the orchestra to learn more and to gain more experience.”

In 2016, Liu was awarded the title of Young International Musician of the Year (Instrumental) at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in Llangollen, North Wales. She also took part in the Young Artist Summer Programme at Curtis Summerfest 2016 in Philadelphia, in the US.

Edited by Ginny Wong