No shortage of activities for Northlake teen
Autumn Selover performs Rhapsody in Blue on the piano. | Photo courtesy of James Selover
Updated: January 21, 2013 2:53PM
Autumn Selover, 17, of Northlake plays piano and harp.
She’s an all-state harpist, performs with the Chicago Youth Symphony and has won the Illinois Music Educators Association conference. At Walther Lutheran school in Melrose Park, she has taken part in orchestra, jazz band and several choirs.
Q: How did you get interested in playing the harp?
A: My grandfather was in the hospital. There was this harpist who would play in the hospital. I was fascinated by the lady sitting in the corner (playing harp).
Q: How old were you?
Q: What are the challenges of playing a harp?
A: It’s not the easiest thing to move, first off. We had to have a minivan. There’s not as wide a range of music I can play on it. That’s sometimes a challenge if someone wants a particular piece.
Q: How do people perceive the harp?
A: You get almost this prissy image. People get a stereotypical image of an angel on a cloud playing a harp. When I was little, I played softball and was kind of a tomboy and didn’t like being viewed as a harpist.
Q: Do you get paid?
A: I’ve been playing professionally maybe since I was 10.
Q: What’s the most unusual place you performed?
A: I think it’s a tie between the equestrian (horse) grand opening and the wedding reception in the dolphin house at the Brookfield Zoo. The dolphins would come out and dance to the rhythm of whatever I decided to play.
Q: You’re also a third degree black belt in Tae Kwan Do. When did you start that?
A: When I was 13, I started at the Park District in Northlake. Then I went to Kwon’s Martial Arts in Northlake. I think I read about it in a Sherlock Holmes book.
Q: What other activities are you involved in?
A: Horseback riding. I haven’t this year. I shoot archery. I like to draw.
Q: And you’re still a full-time student?
A: (Smiles). I was home-schooled through 8th grade.
Q: How do you find time for all these activities?
A: It’s easy if you don’t sleep (laughs). I tend to squeeze things in when I have a spare minute. I usually do my homework in the car.
Q: What do you want to do after high school?
A: For a while I wanted to be a detective. Then I wanted to work for the CIA. I wanted to be a cook or chef. A judge at one point, too. I wanted to be a cowgirl for a while.
Q: And now?
A: I’m probably going to do something with the harp. A symphony job or opera job would be nice. I’ve considered teaching high school, maybe harp or English. I’m still thinking about it.~.