Elliot Bash is a one of a kind fourteen year old girl. Elliot was born with perfect pitch, also referred to as absolute pitch, a rare ability of a person to identify or re-create a given musical note without the benefit of a reference tone. Elliot can identify and replicate any sound she hears, ranging from commercials to car horns. She is a brilliant musician, playing the violin, mandolin, piano, and a variety of other instruments. Elliot has been composing classical music since she was ten and has recently dabbled in bluegrass music. Her work is so complex that her instructor will have to perform certain parts since she composes above her current skill level.
Elliot can do anything she sets her mind to. One day she decided to learn Mandarin and began teaching herself through videos. She can now write, speak, and read Mandarin.
Elliot is autistic and has gathered nine state competition gold medals in Special Olympics from swim to track in just four years.
Russel and April Bash, Elliot’s parents, both grew up in Reidland, Kentucky. They moved away to Knoxville, Tennessee, but decided to move back to raise Elliot in their hometown when she was just two. Around that time, they started to notice that Elliot was unique. She played with toys differently than other kids, organizing them by shape, color, and size. Looking back now, they also realize that is when Elliot developed her love of music as well. All of her favorite shows were musically based. She preferred Baby Einstein over every other show. Elliot could also sing full songs, in the right pitch, even before she talked.
Russel is a musician himself and would play in the house. Elliot would dance and spin around to the sound of his guitar and piano. It wasn’t until Elliot was older that the couple discovered her gift of perfect pitch. When Elliot was in 5th grade, she decided to take a violin class. April describes how they have a theory to let Elliot try out any and everything to see what she likes. A few months into the class, it just clicked for Elliot. She began being able to play anything she heard, even the “Nationwide is on your side” jingle. She could hear it one time and could replicate it. They realized it was perfect pitch when Russel was singing in the wrong key and Elliot called him out on it. They began testing her gift by playing a key on the piano for her to identify. She was always perfect, every time.
April and Russel realized they needed to get Elliot the best teacher in town. She began private violin lessons at Time on the String.
Elliot began to have several opportunities to perform. To her parents’ surprise, she came to life on stage. Elliot talks to every crowd and introduces herself instead of having the MC do it. April describes how she is a totally different kid when she is on stage. In everyday life, Elliot is shy and reserved, but onstage she is outgoing and playful. It is where she is meant to be.
Elliot is homeschooled to allow her to expand on all her interests and talents. Public school presented many challenges since the system is not designed for individuals that simultaneously require gifted classes and special education classes. The system was too restrictive for Elliot’s beautiful mind. She loves being able to play music at home. She plays the ukulele, piano, and cello, along with her primary instruments, the violin and mandolin.
Elliot has recently joined a bluegrass band. She dreams of one day playing in the symphony.
The family has gone to watch the symphony perform several times and every time they can picture Elliot up there. With her natural talent and dedication, they are certain she will achieve great things.
Despite being a youth prodigy, Elliot is a typical teenager. She sleeps in late when her parents let her and loves hanging out with her friends. Elliot is close with her teammates on the Special Olympics and meets up with other homeschool students regularly. Elliot introduces herself as, “I love cats and I’m crazy.” The family has three cats, Minus, Milo, and Boccherini, named after the Italian composer, Luigi Boccherini.
On August 20th, Elliot will be performing at Open Mic Night at the Kentucky Opry. When asked if she is nervous, Elliot says, “a little, but the good kind.”
Elliot’s favorite thing to do is perform and this is a huge opportunity for her.
Elliot performs her own compositions alongside her instructor, Josh Coffey. People describe her work as “truly age-defying”. Our community is blessed to have such a talented young woman. The possibilities are limitless for Elliot Bash.