The Royal Conservatory of Music awarded Jonah Ma a gold medal for Level 4 Flute. (Contributed photo)

The Royal Conservatory of Music awarded Jonah Ma a gold medal for Level 4 Flute. (Contributed photo)

Smithers student wins musical award

Jonah Ma was awarded a gold medal for Level 4 Flute by the Royal Conservatory of Music

The Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) has awarded a young flute player from Smithers a gold medal.

Smithers Secondary School Grade 11 student Jonah Ma was given a gold medal for Level 4 flute as a result of his recent exam.

He has been taking private lessons from Gail Olsen since 2105.

“He is a quiet, pleasant, courteous, and hardworking student, and has advanced very quickly with his playing in the last one-and-a-half years,” said Olsen. “With a little coaxing from me, he agreed to take his first Royal Conservatory exam this past June and received a ‘First Class Honors with Distinction’ mark of 92 per cent for his efforts.”

She was informed earlier this month by the RCM that he won a Regional Gold Medal for the BC/Yukon Region, Level 4 Flute. “Gold Medals are awarded each academic year to exam candidates who have obtained the highest mark for their level, discipline and region. Jonah is very deserving of this award, and should he decide to do any further exams, I have no doubt that he would do very well,” she added.

In her 35 years of teaching, Ma is her first student to win a gold medal.

Ma was surprised when he first found out about the honour. “I did not completely understand what it meant,” he said. “Once I found out I was even more surprised.”

He doesn’t have any plans to make a career out of music, but said he wants to improve as much as possible and maybe learn another instrument or two before graduating from high school.

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