Greenville Native has Notable Success
Greenville News | June 21, 2004
Kelly Hall-Tompkins is a native of Greenville and an accomplished violinist. She currently lives in New York. Hall-Tompkins has performed as a soloist with the Greenville Symphony and as a stand in for the New York Philharmonic. Her self-titled album, which can be purchases on Amazon.com. She responds via e-mail.
[Q] Did you attend the Fine Arts Center while you attended high school? Yes, FAC is a wonderful and unique learning environment. At the time that I went to college, I had already had chamber music coachings, music theory and music history every day of the week. That was terrific preparation not only for the rigorous programs at Eastman, but also life as a professional musician.
[Q] What cities do you think are a good starting point for musicians? One should go to a place where creativity and opportunity lead you. For me, it's important to be surrounded by music-making at the highest level, where the city resonates with the energy and inspiration of other people pursuing their passion for music-making or whatever they do, and where there are opportunities to implement all that creative energy.
[Q] Do you miss the music culture in Greenville? I miss the Fine Arts Center most because classes with violist/chamber coach Lenny Schranze and music composer/history teacher Jon Grier were some of the best years of my life. I enjoyed collaborating with the dancers each year, watching the drama department's productions, and peeking in on the visual artists work on a daily basis.
[Q] Is it more difficult to be noticed as a talent in a larger city like New York as opposed to a smaller city like Greenville? That has not been my experience. From exposure through my Masters degree program at the Manhattan School of Music, or through competitive auditions, I was hired as a violinist in many New York venues right away. Additionally, there were mentors and benefactors and who took an interest in my career.
[Q] Do you normally play pieces already written or do you play more original music? So far, I haven't explored the idea of composing. It's something that I might eventually like to try.