We’re delighted to share our recent collaboration with Greg Childress and The Music Educator Podcast! Mobile users, click through to your browser to view links and listen to Episode 14: The Power of Parents! The Music Educator Podcast is also available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.
We’re thrilled for everyone’s amazing performances this past Saturday at the LHS Evening of Chamber Music at the Virtuosi of Houston Studio! From Seitz to Lalo to Brahms (with a little bit of Twinkle!), LHS musicians performed both solo works and ensemble favorites.
As this semester comes to an end, we’re so excited to reflect on the leadership we’ve seen from LHS young musicians. From concertmaster solos (Jessica, Lizzie!) to principal viola solos (Jordan, Anika!), from coaching younger orchestras (Olivia, Jordan!) to leading ensemble performances in the community (Sugar Strings!), from being first chair (Morgan, Jessica, Jordan, Anika, Lizzie, Amanda, Christian…we’re surely missing a few young musicians in this list, let us know!), to performing in the Houston Youth Symphony (Christian, Archana, Catherine, Elizabeth!) from making region (LHS violinists/violists in ALL FOUR region orchestras!) to teaching lessons themselves (Molly, Lauren!), we have seen everyone grow tremendously.
This week, we send lots of luck to Seline (violin) and Dhruv (viola). Both are traveling to Chicago this week as members of the top orchestra at Austin HS. Dhruv and Seline will be performing in their orchestra at the Midwest Clinic. Have fun, guys!
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 to LHS violinist Hamsini on her successful audition for the extended concertmaster solo in her school orchestra’s upcoming performance!
Hamsini has won the first violin solo for Fantasia on Greensleeves (Ralph Vaughan Williams) and will perform it as concertmaster of the highest Fort Settlement Middle School orchestra at their winter concert this Monday, December 4th.
Hamsini, in eighth grade, also successfully auditioned for and performed in the 2017 MS Region concert. She received the top mark (“1”) for her 2017 Solo & Ensemble performance and is a member of the National Junior Honor Society. We are so proud of you, Hamsini!