For one high-school clarinetist, no graduation ceremony—but a surprise lesson with Atlanta Symphony’s principal clarinet

Posted on: May 15, 2020

“Madisyn Jenkins, a talented clarinetist at Woodland High [in Cartersville, Georgia], has spent her four high school years honing her musical talents,” writes William List on Monday (5/11) at WXIA TV (Atlanta). “Her goal is joining the Atlanta Symphony and sitting beside her idol, Principal Clarinetist Laura Ardan, … ‘to be able to play on stage with her. That is something I dream about,’ Jenkins said…. [Jenkins is] preparing to go to Young Harris College on an academic music scholarship…. With the help of the Atlanta Symphony staff, a huge surprise—Jenkins and Ardan would meet face-to-face-on Zoom…. ‘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. … 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.”