The only thing better than having one child accepted to Governor’s School for excellence in the arts? Having TWO children accepted! Just ask Doug and Marcia Berry, parents of the two teenagers who hope to spend part of their summer attending the program.
Kimberly Berry, a junior at South Granville High School in Creedmoor and her younger sister, Emily, will represent their school and Granville County Public Schools this summer, according to information GCPS public information officer Dr. Stan Winborne.
The Governor’s School of North Carolina is the oldest statewide summer residential program for gifted and talented high school students in the nation. The program is open to rising seniors only, with exceptions made for rising juniors in selected performing/visual arts areas. The girls would attend the Governor’s School West, which is held at High Point University.
Emily, a sophomore at South Granville High School, and her sister have been playing violin for most of their lives – Kimberly started playing at age five, and Emily started playing at age four.
They have been under the tutelage of Georgia Schmidt of Triangle Area Suzuki Talent Education (T.A.S.T.E) for the past eight years. T.A.S.T.E. offers training in violin, viola, and cello, with weekly private lessons, twice a month group lessons, monthly solo recitals, plus numerous concerts at White Memorial Presbyterian Church and in the community.
Schmidt said Tuesday that she taught the girls in group lessons first and then continued giving with private lessons. In the 10 or 11 years that she has known the girls and their family, she said she has seen nothing but “utmost respect and dedication” in their commitment to music. “They’re not prodigies,” Schmidt added, but they approach their music with “a combination of hard work, listening, love, respect and grit.”
“They have really worked hard all these years,” Schmidt said. “This will be such a wonderful experience for those kids. I am just so thrilled they get this opportunity.”
The sisters have performed for the past six years with the Philharmonic Association Triangle Youth Music, a non-profit organization established to provide opportunities for young musicians to learn, understand and perform all genres of great classical and jazz music. The program now consists of three full orchestras, two string orchestras, and three jazz ensembles and includes 500 school-age musicians each year.
The girls also are in their church orchestra at Friendship Baptist Church in Raleigh.
Kimberly loves animals and hopes to attend UNC-CH, where she would love to perform in the university orchestra and study nursing. Emily enjoys listening to classical music. She has her eye on either UNC-CH or NC State to pursue a career in the medical field.