Teen pianist heading to Carnegie Hall for winter recital

Teah Snively, a Colonial Forge student, is a standout piano player due to her ability to interpret the music, said her teacher.

Sixteen-year-old pianist Teah Snively, of Stafford, will head to Carnegie Hall in New York City to take part in the music venue’s winter recital on Dec. 17.

The honor stems from Teah’s entry into the American Protege International Talent Competition, where she was awarded second place.

Teah, who attends Colonial Forge High School, has been a playing the piano for 11 years and comes from a musical family.

She said she is “super excited” to play at Carnegie Hall.

“My entire family is full of musicians,” explained Teah, “so I guess the question never really was whether or not I’d be a musician. It was more of what instrument I would learn.”

Teah said that as a 5-year-old, she pleaded with her mother to let her take piano lessons.

“Music has been a huge part of everything that I do ever since,” she said. “Since I was so young, it was never really something I had to force myself to understand. Starting music when you’re 5 is like learning your first language. First you learn the letters, then you learn some words. Before you know it you’re speaking, and as we get older our abilities develop to become more complex. Playing the piano is exactly like that, and most other people I know my age who started piano when they were little kids say the same thing.”

She’s been a standout at Colonial Forge, too.

There, she’s made a name for herself as the school’s jazz pianist last school year and subsequently became the music department’s go-to piano player. She was even the pianist at the school’s senior awards night.

Teah has played the piano with her school’s symphonic band, wind ensemble, chamber orchestra and show choir. This year, she became a section leader on piccolo in the school’s marching band and she is currently first-chair flutist in the school’s wind ensemble.

She also founded and is the leading player in a flute ensemble at the school.

Snively takes piano lessons from Susan Flinn, who runs The Music Studio in Stafford.

“I truly enjoy working with her; her progress is amazing. As a student, Teah is very dedicated to her music (piano, flute and school band), and it’s a big part of her life,” Flinn said.

Teah, who is also a part of a piano quartet, has been Flinn’s student since August 2016. She said that Teah truly deserves this honor.

Teah was accepted into the Tri-M Music Honor Society for her community service to her school’s music department. The group is a high school and middle school music honor society and a program of the National Association for Music Education.

Teah was also second chair at an All-County Band competition and sixth chair district band during her sophomore year.

Flinn explained: “What makes her stand out is her ability to interpret the music, and the emotion she puts into her playing. She’s not afraid of challenging pieces or putting in the time and effort needed to perfect them.”

For more, visit carnegiehall.org and themusicstudio.net.

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