When Alexis Meservia found out she had won a regional gold medal from the Royal Conservatory of Music, she admits she wasn't sure what it was at first.
“It was a nice surprise to find that out,” laughed the 28-year-old. “I was pleased and surprised.”
Regional gold medals are awarded each academic year to Royal Conservatory of Music examination candidates. Awards are handed out to the student who achieves the highest mark in each discipline, including violin, preparatory voice and clarinet, ranging from level one to 10 in the district.
Meservia won gold in the level six voice, and, according to her coach Maureen Branch, it's a rare award among those who are musically talented.
In order to receive it, Meservia had to sing four pieces and completed it with a mark of 88 and first class honours.
“I was excited for her because she works really hard,” Branch said.
“She's innately musically, she has a lovely timbre in her sound. She's great for trying new things. It's (the award) well deserved. She's very dedicated and she pays a lot of attention to detail.”
Meservia's love for music — both playing and listening — began when she was young. As a child, she would sing in school and youth choir, and also took voice lessons. She played classical violin professionally for 10 years until she was 17 years old.
While living abroad in France, Meservia felt something was missing in her life and decided to join a local choir, which sparked her interest once again. Upon returning to Victoria, she took up singing lessons with the Victoria Conservatory of Music once a week. Since then, she has also learned to sing in a variety of different languages, including French, German, Italian and Latin.
Unlike violin, in which there was pressure to get ready for concerts and performances, singing is purely for enjoyment
“It's just for fun, there's no career aspect to it. It makes it really enjoyable,” said the 28-year-old French immersion teacher, adding she still gets nervous before performances.
“(Singing) is unique, you are your own instrument. I really like the story telling you can do in singing with different texts that all carry their own messages.”
Up next, Meservia will be performing during recitals with the conservatory.