I began playing the violin when I was six years old and found my teacher, mentor, and friend, Liz Norton, who I studied under for the past 11 years. Once I started 5th grade, Liz pushed for me to join WYSO. For several years, I wasn’t sure how to commit to WYSO since my weekends consisted of soccer games, swim meets, and Scouting. Then, I finally auditioned for Concert Orchestra for my eighth-grade year.
Auditioning was an amazing decision as it unveiled a new world of music. It introduced playing in a full orchestra and the magic of performing as an ensemble. However, committing to WYSO was a balancing act. Before the first rehearsal, I mapped out my practices, rehearsals, games, and meets for the year so I could support my orchestra and team. I remained dedicated through the chaos because WYSO meant so much to me. I developed leadership skills while playing with the honor of concertmaster for the Philharmonia Orchestra and perseverance, finally achieving my goal of making the Youth Orchestra my senior year. But most importantly, the joy of making music with others and working together is truly an incredible experience. This challenging past year served as a reminder of this as I cherish the opportunities to play together again.
After graduating from James Madison Memorial High school, I will attend the United States Military Academy West Point, where I plan to study chemical engineering. I’m super excited, and I’m proud to say that WYSO has prepared me to face the challenges ahead.