When listening to the music of Sergei Rachmaninov it feels for flautist Paula Hill, 17, from Durbanville, Cape Town like coming home. She is a Grade 11 learner at the El Shaddai Christian School in Durbanville.
Encouraged by her parents to play a musical instrument and inspired by her grandmother and aunt, who played the flute, the honey blonde young star started her journey as flautist seven years ago under the tutelage of Jeanie Kelly at the Hugo Lambrechts Music Centre, who is still her teacher.
Her twin sister is playing the violin and their brother wakes them in the morning with the soft sound of plucking the classical guitar.
Paula also plays the piccolo. She practices a minimum of six hours per week. Her parents love it when she practices the flute, but disappear when she works on the piccolo.
Four years ago, she received the Hennie Joubert Merit Awards and was a semi-finalist in the SAMRO Hubert van der Spuy National Music Competition. Last year Paula received coaching from Yamaha performing artist Andrea Lieberknecht when she was one of just six finalists who participated in the Yamaha Music Gulf FZE Scholarship Programme in Dubai. Her other achievements in 2018 include being a soloist in the annual Concerto Festival of the Hugo Lambrechts Music Centre. She was also awarded the Student of the Year trophy by the centre.
Being a new-comer to the National Youth Music Competition (NYMC), she always wanted to participate in the competition. The event gives one space to grow as a musician. Being part of the contest grows one skills, as participants must put together a program of music and play a variety of pieces.
At this stage, Paula is not sure about her plans on completion of her matric year. The three options that she is considering is music, architecture or fashion.
The all-rounder is an avid debater, also plays first team hockey for her school, sings in the school choir, swims and is a member of two orchestras - the Hugo Lambrechts Senior Wind Band and the Hugo Lambrechts Symphony Orchestra.