I still remember my very first WYSO rehearsal with Concert Orchestra in 7th grade. It was my first time playing in an orchestra, my only ensemble experience up to that point being three years in my school’s 8-person band. I remember scrambling to figure out what the tuning note was, and how incredible it was to see all the string players’ bows moving in unison. That year, I was able to perform in Overture Hall as part of WYSO’s 50th Anniversary concert, and travelled to Chicago with other WYSO brass members to hear the National Brass Ensemble play – both once in a lifetime experiences.
Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to play in all three full orchestras, the chamber orchestra, brass choir, Lalita Woodwind Quintet, and a horn quintet through the chamber music program, as well as perform in the 2020 Youth Honors Recital. I have so many wonderful memories of my time in WYSO – coffee runs before rehearsal with the brass section, ice skating and board game nights with my horn quintet, playing Tchaik 4 and Pictures at an Exhibition at the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra side-by-side concert, and all the crazy back-of-the-orchestra shenanigans over the years.
Next year, I will be attending Oberlin College & Conservatory to pursue a dual degree in French horn performance and biology. I am so grateful for all the lifelong friendships, memories, and musical opportunities that WYSO has given me these past six years, and I’ll miss spending my Saturdays in the Humanities Building.