From the time she took to the stage at 20 months old with a spontaneous solo rock dance at the Hard Rock Cafe in Guangzhou, China, it was apparent that music was in Paris Wilson’s blood.
Wilson began studying piano at age 4, and violin at 7. She has played with youth orchestras on some of the world’s great stages: Carnegie Hall, the Sydney Opera House, Prague’s famed Rudolfinum, as well as stages in Lisbon, Finland and Vienna. However, she is most at home on the Orcas Center stage (where she had her debut in first grade as a “plate” in Beauty and the Beast).
Today, Wilson is a junior at Orcas Island High School, and she and some of her musical friends will bring their talents to the main stage at Orcas Center on Wednesday, July 18, at 7:30 p.m. in a concert titled “Paris & Friends.”
“I enjoy playing many different kinds of music, like classical, jazz, pop and other forms,” said Wilson. “This concert is an opportunity for me to play music I love with people who have been a part of my musical life and share it with a wider audience. I’ll be playing duets with my longtime piano and composition teacher Martin Lund, my Bellingham violin instructor Lisa Humphrey, and Jim Bredouw, who has encouraged me in music since I was 8 years old when I appeared in ‘(A) Christmas Carol.’”
Wilson will also play classical and Almost Classical trios with Emy and Lisa Carter, plus a string quartet with Emy Carter, Lisa Humphrey and cellist Anthony Kaskurs. “I’m excited to play with Anita Orne and Gordon Koenig from the Olga Symphony and JP and the OK Rhythm Boys, and my good friends Sophie Parker and Eliza Kelliher.” The music of Mozart, Handel, Vivaldi, Bach, the Beatles, Mark O’Connor, Duke Ellington and many others will be part of the show.
“This concert is going to be so much fun for me,” said Wilson. “I hope it will be just as enjoyable for the audience.”
According to Wilson, the concert is also a chance for her to give back to the Orcas community that has been so supportive of her and her music. “Thanks to very generous sponsors and talented musicians, ticket proceeds of the concert will go to the Orcas Community Resource Center,” she said. “This organization helps Orcas families and individuals who are in need of food, housing, health care and more.”
For the past two years, Wilson has won first place for solo violin at the regional music contests in Bellingham. She performed twice at Carnegie Hall with the Honors Performance Series Orchestra, most recently as associate concertmaster. She is concertmaster for the Orcas High School Strings. She has played with the Almost Classical trio for five years, and released two albums with them. She is also a year-round intern with the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival.