CARLISLE — A Union County student has been selected to attend the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities.
After a lengthy, rigorous and competitive application process, Union County High School tenth grader Gino Ferguson has been accepted to attend the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities. The residential high school’s comprehensive program includes private lessons and chamber ensembles as well as classes in music theory and music history. As part of the intensive curriculum, students represent the school through performances.
Ferguson began playing violin in 5th grade.
“I decided to play that instrument because I wanted to be different from everyone else,” he said. “I thought it was unique. A lot of people drop out in 6th grade and go to band, but I decided to stick with it.”
Ferguson began taking strings classes with John Kvasnicka in 2008.
Ferguson said he decided to take his playing to the next level, and in eighth grade he tried out for Region Orchestra.
“I didn’t make it, but I didn’t stop there,” he said. “I practiced for hours every day and began lessons with various teaching styles.”
Kvasnicka also created the Orchestra Academy, in which local orchestra students could receive after-school lessons once a week from high school students from Spartanburg, and Ferguson participated in that program. Ferguson also began taking private lessons from Allison Key, who said Ferguson is well advanced for his age. Ferguson said he usually gets an “excellent” rating each year at Solo and Ensemble auditions, but this year, he received a rating of “perfect.”
Key also helped Ferguson prepare to audition for last year’s South Carolina GSAH summer program. After a successful audition, he attended, and he said the summer program is what made him want to attend the residential high school.
“I learned a lot from that experience,” he said, adding that the auditions challenged him with both playing and singing rhythms. “I want to expand my music career to the highest depth I can for my grade level.”
Ferguson said he would like to make music a lifelong career, either as an orchestra teacher or as a musician in a professional symphony.
Gino Ferguson is the son of the late Pat Ferguson and grandson of Mayor of Carlisle Mary Ferguson-Glenn.