Third year Bachelor of Music student Maraika Smit, 21, has been named the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra’s new Rising Star.

Maraika, who plays the horn, was selected from a number of entrants to receive the title, and will perform solo with the TSO in the sold out show The Snowman this week (Thursday 24 August).

To be chosen was “amazing” she said.

“It was great but I was also quite surprised because there are lots of amazing young musicians in Tasmania at the moment.

“My teacher is principal horn of the TSO so I have lessons with him, but to perform with them as a soloist will be awesome,” she said.

I have done solo performances, but nothing as big as this before.

When Maraika was in grade 5, she attended a kids’ TSO concert.

“It was amazing. I remembered the horns so when I was in grade 7 I asked to play the horn or saxophone. I was told the French horn was too hard to play; but I couldn’t get any noise out of the saxophone so I played trombone.

After a year of trombone, I still wanted to play the horn so I switched over. I was about 14 then.

Her love for music kept growing, and in grade 10 she decided she wanted to attend the University’s Conservatorium of Music, with the ultimate future goal of joining the TSO.

I actually almost gave up music in college after a few negative experiences, but it was something I couldn’t let go and it was then that I realised I really loved music. Coming to the Con was the best thing I've done!

“For me, playing music is meditative. When you’re playing you get into a kind of bubble and you’re removed from the world. It expresses all of your emotions and it feels like you release those emotions when you’re playing.

“When you play with other people, everyone is connected. It’s quite euphoric. It makes you feel incredible.”

While Maraika said her family “isn’t musical at all”, her parents are excited to see her perform in The Snowman.

“It sold out quite quickly so unfortunately most of my friends can’t come, but my parents will be there.”

Maraika also has a second round audition this week for the Australian National Academy of Music.

“I’m hoping to go there or the Queensland Conservatorium, they have a really good horn school at the moment. I’m also applying to do an orchestral program in Melbourne,” she said.

Her goal for the future?

Basically to be able to play my horn every day would be incredible!

Maraika Smit will perform as part of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra in The Snowman, 6pm August 24. 

Interested in making beautiful music? Apply now.