Taylor Fleshman playing harp

Scholarship allows harpist to flourish

When seven-year-old Taylor Fleshman’s father bought her a harp on eBay – she never imagined she would one day attend a world-class music conservatory and play with orchestras on three continents. But through hard work and the contributions of donors, she’s now realizing a dream that’s been more than a decade in the making.

“At first, UC wasn’t on my list of potential colleges, but CCM’s reputation precedes itself. I fell in love with the campus and realized a strong connection with my current professor and mentor, Gillian Benet Sella,” Fleshman said. “After my first visit, I decided to apply. The day I found out I was accepted was one of the best days of my life.”

As an out-of-state student, Fleshman knew it would be difficult to finance her education. That’s why she was even more excited to learn she had been awarded a scholarship.

For many students at CCM, performances and practice come first – usually taking up most of the day and four or five hours outside of class. Taylor works at the CCM box office and performs at weddings to help cover some of the cost of education, but she counts on the scholarship to keep her in the studio as much as possible.

“It’s a rigorous program, but it’s so worth it because I’m becoming better every day. That’s what keeps me going when my fingers get sore, or I spend six hours practicing while everyone else is enjoying their weekend.”

Fleshman has a message for those who have helped her along the way.

“I want to thank all of my professors and teachers for putting in extra time to help me succeed. And I especially want to thank the donors to UC for their inspirational generosity.”

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Taylor Fleshman playing harp-vertical

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