LHS Studio Spotlight: Molly

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Molly H.

This week we’re speaking with Molly H. on what it took for her to make the top HS Region Orchestra (Symphony) just one year (!) after starting viola. Molly began playing the violin at age 6 and often leads The Sugar Strings in their performances around Sugar Land. In addition to playing violin and viola, Molly runs her own piano studio for young musicians.

You study three instruments in addition to your academic subjects! What’s your best piece of advice for other young musicians who want to pursue multiple areas of expertise? 
Enjoy it! Don’t let your music just become a grade or a requirement. I feel the most accomplished when I can share my skills and bring joy to others!

How do you balance nerves and confidence in auditions and performances? 
Before the region audition, I put positive affirmation statements on notecards, to tell myself I was prepared and would do well! At the audition, tried to block out all the other players and focus on being mentally prepared. At performances, I try to enjoy the music as much as I can and trust my muscle memory and all the hard work I put in!

Leading up to your audition, what was your practice schedule like?
When the music first came out, I made goals to have much of the music memorized fairly quickly. About a month from the audition, I increased my practicing to at least two hours a day. It was definitely challenging, but I found a drive within me. I had worked so hard, I couldn’t just give up! I knew that every minute I worked could be the difference of getting in or not.

Does your viola have a special story behind it? Tell us your favorite things about your instrument and why you chose it. 
I really like my viola’s rich tone and, since it is only 14 inches I can switch between violin and viola. It’s an antique made in 1893 and I enjoy thinking of all the people who have heard it played!

What new pieces are you looking forward to adding to your repertoire this year?
I am looking forward to adding both viola and violin peices this year! I am currently preparing Schubert’s Arpeggione Sonata on my viola.

Congratulations, Emily!

Congratulations to Emily, age 8, on her stunning violin performance today for all of the students and teachers at Bentley Elementary! Out of the 31 students across grades K – 5 who auditioned for a panel of four judges, Emily was the only second-grader (!) selected to perform for today’s talent show. She will follow up today’s performance with another one tomorrow for parents. Keep up the amazing work, Emily!IMG_3078 2.jpg

 

LHS Violists Receive Top Marks at 6th Grade Solo & Ensemble Competition!

Today we have the honor of announcing the Solo & Ensemble results for our wonderful 6th-graders! As you all may know, many schools host the Solo & Ensemble competition for 6th graders a few months after the February Solo & Ensemble competition for older musicians (7th – 12th grade).

Congratulations to Zayn (6th Grade, Garcia Middle School) and Morgan (6th Grade, Baines Middle School) for receiving top marks (“1, Superior”) on their Solo & Ensemble performances this spring!

Special congratulations to Morgan for choosing to compete in both the solo AND the ensemble (chamber music) categories and receiving top marks in each. We are so proud of her and wish her the best of luck as she auditions this week for her school’s advanced orchestras!

Special congratulations to Zayn, who has already auditioned for and been selected into his school’s highest orchestra! We are so happy for his amazing progress this year!

On another inspiring note, both Zayn and Morgan have successfully auditioned for and been accepted into the American Festival for the Arts Summer Music Conservatory. Way to go, guys!

You can read about this past February’s wonderful Solo & Ensemble results for 7th – 12th grade LHS musicians here: https://laurenhaleystudios.com/2018/03/23/lhs-musicians-awarded-26-grade-1-medals-at-solo-ensemble/

LHS Musicians Awarded 26 Grade 1 Medals at Solo & Ensemble

We’re already off to a fantastic year at LHS, with our young musicians bringing home 26 Grade 1 medals in both the Solo and Ensemble categories at this year’s Solo & Ensemble competition. You’ll notice that the number of Grade I Medals exceeds the number of names on this list, indicating how many of our young musicians chose to compete in both categories and were awarded top marks and medals in each!

Katelynn, Clements HS, viola*

Neha, Fort Settlement MS, viola*

Anisha, Quail Valley MS, violin*

Amanda, Ridgepoint HS, viola*

Jacob, Quail Valley MS, viola*

Tarunikha, Fort Settlement MS, viola*

Archana, Clements HS, violin*

Anika, Dulles HS, viola*

Jordan, Travis HS, viola*

Aishwarya, Clements HS, violin*

Jessica, Fort Settlement MS, violin*

Olivia, Baines MS, viola

Hamsini, Fort Settlement MS, violin*

Mustafa, Travis HS, viola*

Ananya, Clements HS, violin*

Esosa, Travis HS, viola

Seline, Austin HS, violin*

Isaac, Dulles MS, viola*

Christian, Sugar Land MS, viola*

Paige, Dulles HS, violin*

Special congratulations to students who chose to compete in both categories and received top marks in each, and to our high schoolers who chose to perform their Level 1 pieces by memory and, in receiving top marks, qualified for state auditions in May!

*Indicates musicians who received the top grade for performances of PML Level 1 pieces. This is the highest HS level on the PML, and we’re thrilled with the number of middle school (!) and high school musicians who pursue these advanced studies!

Our new 6th-grade musicians on violin and viola will be competiting in Solo & Ensemble for the first time later this spring. We wish them luck and will keep you posted on their amazing progress!

Join Us for the December 2017 Student Showcase Recital!

Lauren Haley Studios Presents the

December 2017 Student Showcase Recital

featuring works by Paganini, de Bériot, Saint-Saëns, and Viotti

Saturday, December 9th, 2017 at 6:00 in the evening

Virtuosi of Houston Studio

Memorial City Mall

303 Memorial City Suite 235

Houston, Texas 77024

All friends and family members are invited to attend and celebrate the marvelous accomplishments of LHS young musicians! We are thrilled for performers to collaborate once again with pianist Evelyn Lam (B.M., M.M., Eastman School of Music). See you all on December 9th!

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LHS Young Musicians Make Region!

Congratulations to our young musicians who have made Region this year!

It is a tremendous achievement for performers to be selected from an exceptionally large number of competitors to represent their schools in the Region concerts this November!

Amanda V., viola, Ridge Point HS

Aishwarya M., violin, Clements HS

Christian B., viola, First Colony MS

Hamsini M., violin, Fort Settlement MS

Isaac R., violin, Fort Settlement MS

Neha C., viola, Fort Settlement MS

Riya P., violin, Sartartia MS

Tarunikha S., viola, Fort Settlement MS

Congratulations, Winter Showcase Musicians!

Congratulations to all of the LHS families who participated in this Saturday’s Winter Showcase Concerts! Violinists and violists performed works ranging from Suzuki Book I favorites to Beethoven’s Spring Sonata and Schumann’s Märchenbilder. From Bartók to Mozart, our LHS performers demonstrated command of a wide range of musical styles.

We were thrilled to once again offer students the opportunity to work with LHS pianist Evelyn Lam (https://laurenhaleystudios.com/meettheartists/) as Ms. Lam completes her doctoral degree in piano performance at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York.

Virtuosi of Houston and Karen Needham hosted both the 5:30pm and 7:30pm LHS recitals in their beautiful studio. Thank you again, Virtuosi and Ms. Needham!

Parents can submit their photos from the recital to be posted here. Congratulations again to all performers! 

 

Below: Ms. Haley and Sophie, Sebastian and Ms. Haley

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LHS Pianist Evelyn Lam, B.M., M.M., Eastman School of Music

 

February 2017 Student Showcase Concerts

Lauren Haley Studios Presents the

February 2017 Student Showcase Concerts

Saturday, February 11th, 2017 at 5:30 and 7:30 in the evening

Virtuosi of Houston Studio, Memorial City Mall

 

We are looking forward to welcoming you and yours to the February 2017 Student Showcase Concert. Once again we have the privilege of performing together in the outstanding Virtuosi of Houston venue at Memorial City Mall. All friends and family members are invited to attend the recital and celebrate the marvelous accomplishments of these young musicians.

Please save Saturday, February 11th, 2017 from 1:30 to approximately 9:00pm in your calendars in order to accommodate all rehearsals (at Sugar Land Art Center and Gallery), performances (at Virtuosi) and the reception (also at Virtuosi). Please RSVP to laurenhaleystudios@gmail.com by Saturday, January 28th with student name as you would prefer to see it presented in the program. Recital spots will be assigned via email once all players have confirmed participation. 

As a reminder, students are responsible for bringing the appropriate piano accompaniment for Ms. Lam to rehearsals and the recital. Students must also meet memorization deadlines and attend all lessons between now and the recital. Please contact Ms. Haley with any questions regarding these policies.

As we’ll be honoring our young musicians, students are invited to dress up, and everyone is welcome at the reception following the performances. We will take the traditional studio picture after each recital.

We are excited to perform with Evelyn Lam as our collaborative pianist. More information about Ms. Lam can be found at https://laurenhaleystudios.com/meettheartists/. Ms. Lam’s fees are $35 for 30 minutes, $50 for 45 minutes, and $70 per hour of rehearsal. Tuition is due at the start of the rehearsal. The studio recital fee is $32 per family, payable to Ms. Haley by the last lesson before the recital. Timely payment of fees helps us keep costs low for frequent recitals.

LaurenHaleyStudios_December2015Recital_AnjanaPhoto Credit: Albertine Wang

 

 

22 LHS Students Win 27 Grade 1 Awards at Solo & Ensemble

The final award count for Solo & Ensemble is in and it’s wonderful to announce that 22 LHS students won Grade 1 marks, with 5 students competing in both the Solo and  Ensemble categories and securing Grade 1 in both competitions. Every Solo & Ensemble contestant who performed in the 2016 LHS Student Showcase Recital on February 13th received a 1 for their solo grade. Well done, kids!

We’re super excited for Amanda, Ananya, Chris, Deepa, Nikita, Paige, Sharon, and Sophie, all of whom received Grade 1 marks on Class 1 (highest HS level) pieces. Sharon and Amanda are still in middle school (7th grade) !

Congratulations to Danae, Deepa, Sophie, Kayle, and Isaac for auditioning for both solo and ensemble competitions and securing Grade 1 marks in both categories!

Well done to Sneha for earning the current concertmaster spot of the Bowie Symphony, to William for maintaining the concertmaster spot in his orchestra at Elkins, to Amanda for maintaining her principal viola spot at Baines, and to Jacob for maintaining his principal viola chair at Quail Valley. We’re all so excited for Deepa, who will play first desk viola for Travis HS’s upcoming performance in Carnegie Hall over spring break!

MS and HS performers are graded on a scale from 1 (best) to 5, so without further ado, here’s the complete list of the LHS students who were awarded Grade 1:

Amanda

Ananya

Anisha

Ayushi

Chris

Danae

Deepa

Enara

Esosa

Isaac

Kayle

Maggie

Megan

Neha

Nikita

Paige

Sarah

Seline

Sharon

Sneha

Sophie

Taruni

Congratulations to everyone on your wonderful progress!

Starling-Delay Symposium on Violin Studies, part 1

Hello, all!

I’m so happy to be back in town after an absolutely brilliant week at Juilliard’s Starling-Delay Symposium on Violin Studies. It’ll certainly take more than one post to pass along the wisdom shared by so many great violinists and colleagues, so let’s start off with one of my favorite events — Sarah Chang’s master class.

To begin the week, world-renowned soloist Sarah Chang offered not just her expert violinistic advice on major repertoire, but a prime example of positive teaching at the highest possible level. She frequently used questions to help students identify their individual musical intentions for each phrase, thereby giving students the confidence to present their own artistic interpretations with conviction. Meanwhile, her upbeat encouragement, quick humor, intelligent teaching process, and warm smile made her master class both a tutorial on technique and musicality as well as one on how to inspire your audience!

In talking about her own legendary teacher, the incomparable Dorothy Delay, Sarah Chang mentioned the importance of making disciplined learning fun. As one of the most skilled child prodigies in musical history, Sarah Chang still confessed to having watched an hour of TV after school every day — “Saved By the Bell!”

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With Sarah Chang!