Elizabeth Messier, Viola: 2022 Senior Spotlight

Photo by Keith MacDonald

Elizabeth Messier, viola
Essex High School

VT Youth Orchestra – 5 years
VT Youth Philharmonia – 2 years
VT Youth Strings – 2 years


We are excited to start off our Class of 2022 Senior Spotlight series with violist Elizabeth Messier! Elizabeth has been with the VYOA since fourth grade when she auditioned into VT Youth Strings after participating in Music Day Camp (now Summer Symphony Camp). Always conscientious and responsible, we could always count on her to come in and mentor our younger string students; she inspired other students to work hard by leading by example. Elizabeth is one of our four Senior Soloists this season and will be performing Bruch’s Romanze for Viola and Orchestra on the VYO Concert, Something Suite, on February 13 at 3pm at the Flynn Center for Performing Arts.

Why do you like your instrument & how did you choose it?
I love the viola because of its dark, rich tone. It’s an extremely versatile instrument, capable of reaching both high and low notes, and is the perfect mix of the violin and cello. Prior to hearing a viola in concert, I was unsure about what other instrument I wanted to play (I already played piano), but after I heard the beautiful sound of the viola, I knew it would be the perfect instrument for me.

What role does music play in your life?
Music has played a huge role in my life. It has opened up so many doors for me and connected with me with an amazing community of people both inside and outside of Vermont. Music can be taken in so many different directions, and one of my favorite things about being a musician is sharing my passion for music with others and watching the impact music has on others. After graduating, I hope to continue exploring new ways to use music to form connections and advocating for the importance of music education.

What was your favorite concert as a performer with the VYOA?
My favorite concert as a performer with the VYOA was the final performance of the 2017-2018 season, where the VYO performed Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 in its entirety. That was the first time I had played a full symphony, and after working on each movement individually throughout the season, it was an extremely gratifying experience to play the complete work. As an eighth grader in my first season in VYO, I was grateful to have the opportunity to develop a deep understanding of a prominent orchestral work, and that season really set the tone for the rest of my time in the VYOA.