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Pianist Courtney Ellian grew up in Duluth, Minnesota, and has found her passion and place within her hometown’s community as a professional performing musician and instructor. She began studying piano at the age of five, and has studied since the age of eight with her current instructor, Dr. Alexander Chernyshev. She enrolled at the University of Minnesota Duluth in 2010, and graduated in the spring of 2014 with a double degree in English and Bachelor of Arts in Music, with piano being her primary instrument. Throughout her years at UMD, as both a pianist and vocalist, Courtney has collaborated and performed in numerous chamber and large ensembles, including piano accompaniment for vocalists and instrumentalists, piano duet ensembles, several woodwind trios, University Singers, Chamber Singers, and UMD Vocal Jazz's Lake Effect. She is a recipient of the Weber Music Scholarship, the William E. Barto Scholarship for the Arts, and the Reed English Department Scholarship. Since 2011, Courtney has been an assistant instructor in the Piano Division of the North Shore Summer Music Experience Camp, held on UMD’s campus every June. Since 2014, Courtney has worked with the MyersWilkins Community School Collaborative as a musical director for the Hillside Youth Theatre Program, teaching the musical artsand production music to elementary school students.