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.
Sugar Land Moms is a new go-to site for families and is a chapter of The Local Moms Network, https://thelocalmomsnetwork.com. It’s a great resource for everything from local event calendars, arts and activity resources, and parent interviews to deals from nearby businesses.
In LHS news this week, we’re extra proud of Anika, who as principal viola in her Dulles orchestra will perform a solo in tomorrow’s orchestra concert. We’re also absolutely thrilled for Jordan, who (in the top group at Travis) has started coaching viola sectionals for a lower ensemble and has her own principal viola solo coming up!
Welcome back, Sugar Strings! After their fabulous summer performances, the Sugar Strings are ready to begin rehearsals for their Fall/Winter 2018 Season and we’re excited to see what they have in store for us!
From left to right: Molly, Kathryn, Daelyn, Anna, Kyle, Lauren
Molly and Daelyn speaking with their audience
Kathryn greets an audience member
Daelyn introduces herself to residents at Clayton Oaks
We’re absolutely thrilled to post that on its second day of sales, Kids Aren’t Lazy: Developing Motivation & Talent Through Music (PDP, 2018) became a #1 Best Seller (see below) and reached the #1 New Release spot in TEN Amazon categories, including Music Instruction & Study, Psychology Education & Training, Gifted Students Education, Parent Participation in Education, Education Research, String Instruments, Baby & Toddler Parenting, Musical Instruments, Violins, and Music Techniques.
If you haven’t ordered your own copy yet, here’s a link! Kids Aren’t Lazy on Amazon.com: http://a.co/0braSwH
We are delighted to share the happy news today that all four LHS musicians who auditioned for the Houston Youth Symphony have been accepted! Congratulations to Christian (viola), Archana (violin), Catherine (violin), and Elizabeth (violin)! The 2018 – 2019 season will be Christian’s first year in HYS, Archana’s second, and Catherine and Elizabeth’s third. We are so proud of their wonderful accomplishments in an especially competitive audition year!
Additionally, Catherine and Elizabeth have been accepted into the top orchestra at Dulles MS, where they will begin 6th grade this fall. Christian and Archana will perform next spring at Carnegie Hall with the Clements HS orchestra. Thrilling news all around!
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!
As we celebrate the end of this school year, I’m so thrilled to acknowlege everyone’s achievements. In particular, I’d like to recognize Nikita for her outstanding academic and musical accomplishments.
Nikita will graduate in June as Valedictorian at DeBakey High School. In addition to her musical achievements in middle and high school (including the Arts Supplement, Region, Houston Youth Symphony, LHS Showcase Concerts, Solo & Ensemble awards, performances at assisted living centers, and the Virtuosi of Houston Summer String Workshop), Nikita has demonstrated exceptional leadership as a violinist in our studio.
Nikita’s college acceptance letters included offers from UPenn, Rice, and the Houston Premedical Academy (HPA). Pursuing her dream of becoming a doctor, Nikita will attend the Houston Premedical Academy, an 8-year program that leads to graduation from the Baylor College of Medicine(!). Just 6 seniors per year are accepted into HPA. WOW, Nikita!
On a musical note, Nikita has accepted the position of Violin Teacher at Century Fine Arts in Sugar Land and is now welcoming new students into her very own studio!
Congratulations on your amazing accomplishments, Nikita! You have earned them all and we are thrilled for you and proud of you!