What was challenging and inspiring to you about SYSO?
One of the main challenges I faced in youth orchestra was getting familiar and comfortable with the coaches and conductors after only seeing them once per week. My school didn’t have a symphony orchestra, so I also had to adjust to a completely different ensemble sound each week as well. It was inspiring to witness the patience of the instructors and the belief that even though we were all students getting together once every weekend, that we were capable of performing the music at a high level.
Part of why I enjoyed going to youth orchestra every weekend was to see how talented other kids were on their instruments and how dedicated people are to classical music. It’s easy to get stuck in your own high school bubble, but broadening my understanding of both the music and the musicians really inspired me to practice hard and know what people my age were capable of.
What are a few of your favorite memories of your time with SYSO?
My favorite memory of SYSO had to be playing Mahler 2 in Benaroya Hall. It was my first time ever playing a piece with a full choir behind me. I still remember the shivers down my spine the first time we played with the full ensemble.
What are your goals for your work at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra?
Since playing with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra is my first (professional music) job, my goals are to really learn the music as best I can and learn what it means to play in a professional orchestra. As a newcomer, I know that most of my colleagues have played the pieces at least a few times in their professional career, whereas I may have never even heard the piece before. My goal every week when we’re first playing through the repertoire, is to sound like I’ve played the piece dozens of times already. I’ve done more score study and listening in these first couple months with the orchestra than ever before, and it’s greatly deepened my appreciation for the music and musicians.
What are your goals for your music as you look into the future?
My goals for the future are to excel with the DSO, become more comfortable playing with the orchestra, and don’t be afraid of any opportunities to come. You never know what positions will open up in the orchestra world, so I still treat every day as an opportunity to do well in any future auditions. (And hopefully move back to Seattle!)
What advice would you give to the young SYSO musicians playing in our current season?
Develop good practice habits and an appreciation for the music. I wasn’t sure whether or not I wanted to do music as a profession in high school, but I still practiced every day because I knew that’s what it would take if I wanted a chance to make it. Even if you don’t decide to follow music as a career, having an appreciation for the music and discipline to learn will make you excel in all other aspects of your life.
What hobbies do you like to pursue?
Because I’m still learning what it takes to play in the orchestra, my hobbies outside of music at the moment is to learn the music for the next concert! I also enjoy hiking, motorcycles, basketball, really anything that takes me outside.
Anything else you would like us to know?
I’m truly appreciative and grateful for the conductors that I worked with, Maestros Marcus Tsutakawa and Stephen Radcliffe, and also the SYSO organization as a whole, for providing me with an education and experience that helped shape who I am today. I know I would never have considered playing in an orchestra professionally if it weren’t for all the rehearsals in the basement of the UW music school and concerts at Benaroya. I’m extremely lucky that I grew up with such an amazing organization to teach and help me appreciate music.