North Freo violist McKay adds another string to her bow

North Freo violist McKay adds another string to her bow

PLAYING the viola is Katie McKay’s passion.

The North Fremantle instrumentalist started learning how to play the violin at age four but by the time she was a teenager, the dark, mellow tone of the slightly larger viola drew her in.

From then on a new love was formed.

“Thanks to a loan instrument from the WA Youth Orchestra, I was able to explore this new world of sounds and over the next few years fell in love with playing the viola,” she said.

“It is the most extraordinary feeling to be completely immersed in creating sounds that the world ceases to exist.”

Now Ms McKay will get the chance to learn from some of the world’s best after she was one of just 12 Australians to receive a Marten Bequest travelling scholarship.

She said the $50,000 would enable her to live in New York for the next two years and help to cover the cost of tuition at the Manhattan School of Music.

“It is a dream come true for me to live in New York and study at the Manhattan School of Music. I am looking forward to learning new skills and techniques, building a network of musical friends and colleagues, and of course, practising until my fingers hurt,” she said.

“I hope in the future I can establish a balance between my time in Australia and New York. I believe there is an evolving cultural relationship and exchange of artistic exploration between the US and Australia that I would love to be a part of.”

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