Wick Simmons, a rising junior and star cellist at Holy Innocents' Episcopal School, is getting ready to spend his summer with music experts from The Julliard School, the Royal Academy of Music in London, Eastman School of Music and the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins.
He is one of 65 students selected to attend the Heifetz International Music Festival in New Hampshire.
“There are cello teachers [and] professors there that are some of the top teachers in the world,” Wick said.
In December, Wick told Patch how , who had died that month after battling cancer, gave him the confidence to pursue his passion, by asking him to play Bach Minuet for chapel service in the seventh grade.
"If she didn't ask me, I don't know where I would be today," said Wick, in December "It kind of helped me realize that I might actually be good at this."
He wants to become a professional cellist.
Last summer, Wick performed at the Bowdoin International Music Festival, in Maine. And in January, he performed with the Georgia Philharmonic after placing second in the Artisan category of the Georgia Philharmonic Young Concerto Competition.
In New Hampshire, Wick will have a variety of classes, coaching and five hours of practice time each day.
“I need to get into [the] teaching/learning repertoire. I get to play chamber music there but another thing they have is a class where you get to learn how to open yourself up in performing. They talk about public speaking—how to talk to the audience before you play for them,” said Wick in a statement.
The cellist said he would ultimately like to attend Julliard or The Curtis Institute of Music, one of the nation’s premier conservatories.