It’s Alumni Friday! Today we’re catching up with…

Ellie Kirk, YAHS 2010–11

What year did you attend YAHS and how old were you?
Ellie Kirk is a Neuroscience and Behavior major at Columbia University.

Ellie Kirk is a Neuroscience and Behavior major at Columbia University.

I attended YAHS during the summers of 2010 and 2011, when I was 16 and 17.

 Where did you attend college, what major, and what is your current occupation?

I now attend Columbia University in New York City, and am planning to major in Neuroscience and Behavior, and minor in Sociocultural Anthropology. I am presently a full time student, but also perform in ensembles on campus and do some gigging around the city when I have time.

Are you married/engaged, any kids or big life events?

I recently accepted a fellowship within the sociology department of Columbia to stay in the city during the summer and work as a consultant to a non-profit organization to advance social change. I am so excited to start my work this summer!

Do you remember your solo recital piece at YAHS?

Yes! I played the Prokofiev “Prelude in C” in 2011.

 What is your most memorable moment from YAHS? (good or bad!)

One of my great friends and I went up in front of the audience at one of the YAHS concerts to talk about our experience and what we really loved about the program. I started talking about “Yahs” (pronounced Yaaz) as opposed to Y.A.H.S, which apparently wasn’t normal, but I had been privately calling it that for a while. After we walked offstage, Kim and Susan thanked us for talking but were curious as to where we heard that pronunciation! It was became an ongoing joke for the rest of the seminar!

Did you learn anything at YAHS (Yaaz!) that you still carry with you in your present life?

Absolutely! I deeply value the time I spent at YAHS honing my harp skills and meeting wonderful and lifelong friends. Something I really carry with me today is the ability to perform publicly. Of course, I still get nervous presenting and performing, but all of the practice and encouragement I got at YAHS gave me the boost of confidence and support that I needed to perform to the best of my ability without being hindered by nerves.

Anything else you want to share with past and future YAHS students?

To past students—I hope that we can all value the amazing harp community that YAHS creates!

To future students—YAHS will be two of the most fun-filled, but rigorous weeks of your summer!