Lia Kurkimilis Interview by Zoe D'Angelo Nomination & Photography by TAP Photography Issue 17 | Music North Carolina
The Nomination: Lia Kurkimilis plays the piano and is the flute section leader in concert band and woodwind section leader in marching band. She is 4th in her class with a 4.4 g.p.a. and has volunteered over 200 hours. She intends to be a medical examiner, specializing in forensic pathology.
How did you become so interested in playing multiple instruments? Tell us about them. My desire to play multiple instruments stemmed from my inheritance of my mom’s flute. I started out pretty poorly, incapable of playing even three notes-- but the more I used music to cope, the more I improved, and I knew I wanted to express myself through other outlets. I became interested in playing the piccolo when I joined marching band. It was such a bold instrument that I knew I had to learn it. I have always loved the piano; it’s my dad’s favorite instrument, and there is something really cool about being able to sit down at a piano anywhere and play.
If given the opportunity, would you teach younger students how to play instruments? I would definitely take the opportunity to teach younger students how to play the instruments I play. I am the flute section leader of my concert band, and I look forward to sectionals in which I can work with the other flutes. Furthermore, every Thursday for the first half of lunch, I meet with three to four underclassmen in order to teach and guide them on playing the piccolo. It is fulfilling to be able to share something I love so much while learning a couple things myself.
How do you maintain your outstanding GPA of a 4.4 with your extracurricular activities? I balance my academics and extracurricular activities through a structured schedule. If a deadline is not in my planner, it’s not in my brain. As long as I stay slightly ahead of my homework, I will have time to do the things I enjoy; more work now means more play later.
Tell us about some of your volunteer opportunities that landed you with over 200 hours service. I have volunteered with many clubs and organizations, but some of my favorites have been my work through the Yancey Humane Society and the VolunTEEN program at Blue Ridge Regional Hospital. I instantly see the results of my work at the humane society, where simply walking a dog can coax them out of the fear of abuse. At the hospital, I served in the ER and main lab, helping patients on the front lines as well as behind the scenes.
What are your plans for the future? I am fortunate enough to have received an academic scholarship from Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where I plan to major in pre-medicine biology. I will then study pathology in medical school and forensic pathology in a state-based fellowship. I am passionate about advocating for the victims of homicides, suicides, and accidents, who can no longer speak for themselves; I will strive to bring justice to them and comfort and closure to their families. Lia will be featured in Issue 17 of Inspiring Teens Magazine.