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As a shy and soft spoken young girl, Samantha Levreault of Worthington never imagined she would flourish into a woman who commands a stage with confidence and ease. Today, thanks to her perseverance, she’s a successful musician with profound insight and wisdom beyond her 22 years.
Samantha’s journey to this new found confidence began 16 years ago. In elementary school, she found herself gravitating towards playing a musical instrument, but wasn’t sure which one she wanted to pursue. Upon seeing and hearing the flute for the first time, her decision became easy. “The flute was shiny and sounded beautiful, and I wanted to be just as shiny and beautiful. I soon learned it was the greatest way to express myself” Samantha says.
Soon thereafter, the flute became part of Samantha’s daily routine and a pivotal aspect of her adolescence.
Samantha recalls, “I was a quiet child, but holding the flute gave me a voice that I was not shy to use.”
The band programs at her middle school and high school were small, and Samantha was eager to practice in a space that would motivate and nurture her developing talent. That’s when she turned to the local non-profit organization, Northampton Community Music Center (NCMC). “The Northampton Community Music Center pushed me to achieve excellence in music. Having a place in our community where I could go and study my true passion was vital to my success as a musician” Samantha says.
For the next ten years, Samantha took flute lessons once a week at NCMC and practiced just about every night or early in the morning before she went to school. She was eager to master the instrument she loved and was continually motivated by her instructor at NCMC. “My teacher opened my eyes to how much the world of music has to offer. She pushed me to get out of my comfort zone and go fearlessly towards my goals” Samantha recalls. She adds, “The reward of doing something I love, and the ability to be taken places by my passion, is what drove me to practice harder.”
Samantha went on to college, while still tactfully pursuing her dream of performing at one of the most renowned music venues in the world, Carnegie Hall. She confidently entered music competitions and diligently worked her way to performing on the same stage as many of her musical heroes.
Life came full circle when that day finally came. Samantha had taken a job as an Administrative Assistant at the Northampton Community Music Center – the place where her love for music developed and matured. While sitting at her desk at work, she opened an email from American Protégé, an organization for young musicians that offers competitions to showcase their unique talents. “The email read, “You are a First Place Winner.” I stepped into my boss’s office not even sure how to properly exclaim that I would be performing at Carnegie Hall, a place where so many great musicians had stood before me,” Samantha still excitedly recalls.
She called her mom to tell her the life-changing news. “My mom has driven me to every lesson, rehearsal, and concert, and listened to hundreds and hundreds of hours of practice. It was an amazing feeling to tell her that my dream was coming true,” Samantha says.
When asked how it felt to achieve her goal at such a young age, Samantha was clearly humbled by the experience, “Despite all the self-doubt and fear, performing at Carnegie and achieving this goal has encouraged me to keep going, dreaming, and trying my best.”
Like most successful people, Samantha was driven by her passion, and didn’t allow her fear of failing to get in the way of reaching her goals. Throughout her life, when things got tough, the flute was always there as a pillar to guide her through. Samantha considerately says, “Playing the flute is what I turn to when everything in my life is changing. Music is the one constant thing that can never be taken away from me.”
Samantha’s success has given this once quiet girl a meaningful voice to motivate others who dream of one-day sharing similar achievements. She shares, “There is a place for every musician in this world. Proceed as if success is inevitable, play from your sternum, and do not let self-doubt stop you from going there. The only person stopping you is you.”
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