Amelia Bailey: Student Virtuoso


Written by River Stone

Tchaikovsky. Sibelius. Beethoven. The National Symphony. This isn’t what runs through the average teenager’s head. Then again, Amelia Bailey isn’t your average teenager.

13 years ago, Bailey picked up a wooden instrument; now, 16-year-old Amelia is one of the best youth violinists in the region.

“When she plays, I can quite literally feel myself being brought to the brink of tears. As a violinist myself, I definitely look up to Amelia,” says freshman Everly Soyka.

As a child, Amelia grew up surrounded by music. Her mother, Janet Bailey, has been a violinist in the President’s Own Marine Chamber Orchestra for 19 years, and her father also pursued music in college. You would never guess that Amelia didn’t always love the violin. “I went through a really rough patch around age 7 or 8 when I just hated it,” she recalls. Amelia and her mother would constantly fight about lessons, playing time, and practicing; she nearly quit the instrument all together. It wasn’t until her preteens, when she started practicing on her own, that Amelia realized her true passion for the instrument. “That’s when I started enjoying it, because I didn’t have anyone breathing down my neck, or telling me what to do. I wasn’t afraid of being stopped by someone,” she says.

Amelia really “made the jump” from being an ordinary violinist to an extraordinary musician when at age 10, she started studying under the Assistant Concertmaster of the National Symphony Orchestra, Ricardo Cyncynates. Cyncynates, a Brazilian-born, violinist-legend, had also once been Amelia’s mother’s violin instructor.

Under the teaching of Cyncynates, Amelia’s talent and dedication to the violin shined through. After winning various competitions around the nation, she went on to becoming the concertmaster of the American Youth Philharmonic Orchestra (AYPO), which, according to the Washington Post, is “… widely considered the flagship of the D.C. area youth orchestra programs.” She has also played with the AYPO at the Italian Embassy. In August of 2015, Amelia was the leader of a group of eight musicians who actually accompanied the Piano Guys, an American music group famous for their violin and cello renditions of classical and popular music.

As a child who grew up on a small farm in Round Hill, it is her talent, and her talent alone that has gotten her this far. In August of 2015, Amelia was invited to the Youth Fellowship with the National Symphony Orchestra. To put this into perspective, 9-12th grade musicians from all over the east coast applied; only 30 got in. One of those winners was Amelia. At this fellowship, Amelia regularly visits the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. to receive free lessons from major musicians, watch open rehearsals, and even get free concert tickets.

Amelia doesn’t just play away from home though. She has performed numerous times at various events and showcases right here in Woodgrove. Amelia’s incredible talent and dedication to playing the violin is evident and awe-inspiring to younger musicians.

“She is one of my role models as a musician because she is so dedicated and clearly loves what she does,” says cellist Brianna Cantrall, a freshman at Woodgrove, “when I hear her play, I think of how that could be me someday if I work as hard as she does,”

While her music is extraordinary, Amelia’s academics are as well. Being in the top 5% of her class, Amelia plans on majoring in Biology in college, possibly studying music on the side.

In the end, whether or not Amelia decides to major in her incredible talent, big things are obviously in store for her. After all, music runs through her head.