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Highland Rambler

Coleman Hits All The Right Notes On Her Way To Sterling Scholar

Billie Martinez & Red Gunn

It’s difficult for students to find a balance between academics and something that they have a true passion for, but for Senior Kenzie Coleman, those were easily intertwined, and it paid off, landing her the Sterling Scholarship for Musical Performance.

The scholarship is given to students to recognize their specific talents in school and their outstanding grades and Coleman has all of that and more.

Coleman has been playing piano since she was only five and has since become a master.

“My mom wanted me to start learning an instrument,” Coleman said. “We had a piano in our house, so I just decided to do that.”

Coleman has gone through different instruments including the harp, guitar, and violin but feels that none of them have compared to the joy she is brought through playing the piano.

She feels that the “multitasking” aspect of the instrument is what she loves the most and how beautiful the instrument sounds to her.

“I love being able to play so many notes at once,” Coleman said. “I also feel that it has always come easy to me.”

Coleman’s brain is full of musical talent and her ability to sight-read is really what makes her a fantastic pianist.

Coleman’s family has also been a huge support in helping her get to where she is with piano. Coleman’s mother, Karen, grew up with music and even was Coleman’s piano teacher for a while.

“Kenzie has been through many teachers with piano,” Karen said. “But she still takes lessons now with a very advanced teacher.”

Coleman has also always shown her passion for piano and it never was difficult for her mother to convince her to practice, as she always was up for the musical fun.

“Kenzie absolutely loves practicing and learning new pieces,” Karen said. “She always wants to get better.”

Her desire to consistently improve is also what drives her as a student. Coleman is part of the IB program at Highland. Even through consistent piano practices and concerts, and piles of homework, she maintains a 4.0 GPA in some of the toughest classes Highland has to offer.

Practicing piano is not an added task for Coleman though, it is more of a welcomed break.

“When I’ve been doing homework for hours and hours I really look forward to practicing,” Coleman said. “It’s a stress reliever for me.”

The complexity of her pieces makes the fact that it is a break slightly ironic. She constantly works hard to play the most complex music she can. Her hardest pieces she’s every done have been Goldoliera, Op. 41, and Modest Mussorgsky. Many advanced piano players would envy having the skills for these pieces.

Coleman has always loved academics and learning since she was a little kid, and would make it known to everyone around her if not enough learning took place in school that day.

“She would come home in a tear if they watched a movie in class,” Karen said. “She just never let it go if she didn’t learn something that day.

Coleman is also a very valued member of her family and does a lot to help out her parents, who both work full-time. She has a younger sister who helps with homework, drives places, and also helps out around the house.

She and her family have an incredibly tight bond and rely on each other to function as a family. Coleman is attending the University of Utah and living at home to continue being close to her family and helping them out when needed.

“She is such a responsible kid,” Karen said. “I often joke that she is more responsible than me.”

Coleman constantly puts in a ton of work and brings herself to the top. Being able to have such an amazing academic standing and perform piano masterfully, is something that many people could not do, but Coleman continues to impress everyone around her.


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