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High school senior gets the chance meet her musical idol on Zoom

With the spreading coronavirus halting her high school graduation ceremony, a musically talented senior had a dream--meet her idol.

CARTERSVILLE, Ga. — For high school seniors across Georgia, the spreading coronavirus has shut down formal graduations, but it hasn't put a damper on graduates’ dreams and ambitions.

For one senior in Cartersville with a talent and passion for music, she set her goals high.   

Madisyn Jenkins, a talented clarinetist at Woodland High, has spent her four high school years honing her musical talents. But her goal is joining the Atlanta Symphony and sitting beside her idol, Principal Clarinetist Laura Ardan, a symphony star who has appeared with orchestras and at festivals around the world.

“One of my biggest goals is to be able to sit next to Laura Ardan and to be able to play on stage with her.  That is something I dream about," Jenkins said.

RELATED: Atlanta Symphony Orchestra canceling rest of season, loses nearly $3 million in revenue

11Alive learned of Jenkins passion for music, and her preparing to go to Young Harris College on an academic music scholarship. We knew that meeting Laura Ardan could be the spark plug that could ignite her future.

With the help of the Atlanta Symphony staff, a huge surprise--Jenkins and Ardan would meet face-to-face-- on Zoom.

"I really have no words, and I am very blessed to be able to have the opportunity to do that,” Jenkins added.

It was not long before Jenkins and Ardan were together on Zoom.

RELATED: Young Atlanta musicians change the Classical Music scene

And as they sat together, Ardan wasted no time in recognizing Jenkins talent.

“Wow, it is so great to meet you and I read your paragraph and I am so impressed with everything you do, and you do a million things, yet to still play the clarinet,” Ardan said.

Jenkins was overwhelmed and as Ardan launched into an impromptu music lesson, Jenkins said, "'don’t mess up Madisyn. This is your idol. You can’t mess up. You don’t want to sound ridiculous or silly in front of her.' So I was trying to stay calm.”

And from that moment on sharing the zoom screen, a meet-and-greet turned into a music lesson Jenkins will long remember, talking to her idol at length.

And although she could not have a formal graduation, her reaction to the meeting and music lesson said it all.

 “Oh, my goodness, this is the next best thing."

 Ardan has invited Jenkins to come backstage after the next concert to continue their musical discussion.

And Jenkins has another goal as well.

She wants to teach and be certified to use music as an important form of therapy for young people with special needs.  But atop her list is the chance to play alongside Laura Ardan in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

11Alive is focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus.  We want to keep you informed about the latest developments while ensuring that we deliver confirmed, factual information.  

We will track the most important coronavirus elements relating to Georgia on this page. Refresh often for new information.


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