Ashley Pointer says with her violin, she can pretty much do anything the human voice can do.
Ironically, she says it wasn't her decision to pick up her bow. But today, as the first violinist to be accepted into the competitive Grammy Camp summer program, she is glad it happened.
Ashley's mother Charlita Whitby put a violin in Ashley's hands way back when the junior at Howard High School in Macon was in the first grade. A choral teacher had seen some potential for musicality in Ashley that her mother was convinced she should nurture.
For the first two years, mother and daughter went through the Suzuki books together. Whitby said though she loves music, she didn't enjoy making it. But it was the price for keeping Ashley on track.
"Well I knew that it was something that I wanted her to do and if she's going to do it I wanted her to do it right," Whitby said
Ashley kept at it but admits the violin didn't really click for her until the seventh grade. That summer, at home with the violin and the radio, she began doing what she considers her specialty now: adding a violin spin to pop and R&B music.
That's the music that got her into Grammy Camp. In particular two pieces, a mash up of Alicia Keyes and Justin Bieber and her take on Usher's "Climax." Ashley said she loves to see people respond to her music.
"Their reactions are priceless and I love to see that," she said.
Though the violin is her thing, Ashley said she is looking forward to becoming more grounded in the music business at large when she hits Grammy Camp in New York later this summer. Being the first violinist in the program that only accepts about 150 students annually is incredibly encouraging.
"It reassures me that you know since I've invested so much of my time in this and is what I want to do for the rest of my life that I'm doing something good," she said.
Ashley Pointer leaves for Grammy Camp and New York at the end of July.