Time Signatures: Measures of Tomorrow's Musicians - Felicity James

Aug 13, 2015

For a young person, Felicity James has achieved a lot in the music world. She’s just 19 but she’s about to complete her fourth year at the school. This year, she is a concert master - a prestigious position in the music community. She is a first chair player and gets to take her own bow. Her position also places the responsibility of queuing her fellow players for entrances. She calls Seattle home and currently goes to the Colburn School in Los Angeles.



“Musicians often spend all their time filling up their extra hours with rehearsals, practicing more concerts," says James. "We’re always busy, but sometimes it’s good to take a break and relax. Hang out with some friends. Do something fun that’s not related to music and clear your mind of all of that so you can come back for a fresh start.”

How does she do that? Movies mostly. Some of her favorites? The King’s Speech starring Colin Firth. Or the Lord of the Rings trilogy. But her favorite movie that she’s seen in the past year is The Artist starring Juan Dujardin and John Goodman.


“Well I think it’s an interesting perspective because it’s all - it’s sort of modeled after a black and white film. There’s no speaking until the very end. I hope that wasn’t a spoiler! I thought that was unique how the actors are doing what they’re doing without speaking.


She says that without the direction of words, like in classical music, the lack of a rigid framework allows for more freedom of expression, and creative license.


In addition to her musical endeavors, she used to be a gymnast but found that the time required was something that she couldn’t handle. From there, she transitioned to a more non sequitur hobby. She went to a circus school. No, I hear you. She didn’t want to be a clown.


“Yeah, it was just kind of a recreational thing. I wasn’t going to go into it or anything. I just loved the feeling of doing flips, acrobatics. That kind of thing was always really fun for me. I wanted to do something that I could enjoy that wasn’t - that was different than regular extracurricular activities.


Felicity says she doesn’t know if she wants to return to Aspen next year. She has to talk it over with her teachers and the people close to her, but she right now gets to focus on the opportunity has now.