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Frances Allitt’s journey after AYWS brought her all the way to London, where she is a reporter and columnist for The Antiques Trade Gazette, an art and antiques magazine. Frances completed Bachelor of Arts degrees in Music and Art History from Emory University and has a Master’s Degree in History of Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London.

Music has always played an important role in her life, but Frances found that when she moved overseas, it became a way to stay connected to what she loves while making new relationships abroad. During her first year in London, she joined a wind ensemble and now she plays in a flute choir called “Opal Flutes.” Grateful to be able to continue playing in an ensemble, she says, “AYWS taught me that there’s nothing like showing up to a rehearsal to get your brain firing on different cylinders and make you feel happy.”

Frances remembers her time in AYWS fondly, citing Dr. Stewart’s knack for making rehearsals “seem like exciting challenges” as just one of many reasons that she enjoyed being a member of the ensemble for three years. Her favorite performance memory, she recalls, was when the ensemble performed on the Carnegie Hall stage in New York in 2005, adding that it was a “once in a lifetime sort of experience.”

Sometimes, however, the best moments of AYWS were the simplest ones: “I remember really loving a lot of the people in the group. Sometimes it was so much fun just hanging out before concerts.”
 
Years after her time in AYWS, Frances continues to make music a meaningful part of her life, saying

“Playing music was one of the most important things I did when I was younger…it teaches you to push yourself individually and work as a team.”