Meet the 2011 Scholarship Recipients: Erica Ogihara

The next talented student in our blog series on our 2011 Anthony Quinn Foundation Scholarship Recipients is Erica Ogihara, a cellist from Pinecrest, FL who is currently in the 9th grade at Coral Reef High School. She will be using her scholarship to attend the Boston University Tanglewood Institute: Young Artists Orchestra this summer. Please join us in congratulating Erica and wishing her the best this summer and in the future as she builds her musical career.

Erica Ogihara

Erica OgiharaWhat are your aspirations in your art form and/or career aspirations?

One of the greatest rewards of performance is seeing in real time how the audience reacts to the music you are playing. Sometimes their faces show full of joy, with their eyes twinkling. When you realize that they are truly enjoying your performance, your heart is filled with happiness. On the day I first played in front of an audience I recognized a great deal of happiness in their faces. Since that day my desire has been to become a professional cellist and to share my love of music with many other people.

I have recently become keenly interested in teaching. I enjoy attending master classes very much. They are very informative, even if I am not performing in them. Just by observing others perform in master classes, you can learn so much. Also, when someone takes your piece of advice, even a small one, and shows some improvement, you find it is worthwhile. In addition to performing worldwide in hopes of inspiring people and giving them joy, I now also wish to teach master classes so that people can improve their performance with things I have learned.

What do you do for fun? Do you have any interesting or unusual hobbies?

Since I was very little, drawing has always been one of my favorite hobbies. Although I may not be that good at it, it stuck, and now, on special occasions I get some paints out and brew something up.

I also love to write, and when I have some kind of thought, I make sure to note it down somewhere. I am currently writing in three different genres: a pure fiction, a historical fiction, and my own private story--my life. When I become older and better at writing, I hope that with my diary that I have been keeping track of for years, I can create a novel of my life in the future.

What is something unique about you that you would like people to know?

I actually enjoy knitting. I try to do it whenever there is a little down time. I work with socks, leg-warmers, and scarves. Although kids my age show little or no interest in knitting, saying it is "Grandma-like" (I get teased a lot), I like knitting because it is to me one of the best ways to relax my fingers and put my mind at ease. I especially am fond of knitting for my favorite friends, because I love seeing their happy and surprised expressions when they receive a present from me. There is nothing better than a gift with your love knitted in every stitch!

Click here to hear Erica playing the last movement of Johann Sebastian Bach's "Cello Suite No.3 in G major, Gigue," recorded in November 2011.