I began playing the violin when I was eleven years old. I remember how excited I was going over to "Beethoven and Company's" and picking up my rental violin (I actually tried practicing in the car on the way home). It's been five years and I'm just as eager to pick up my violin now as I was then. I'm sixteen years old and I will be starting my junior year at Chiles High School this fall.

Throughout my years playing the violin, I have been lucky enough to be exposed to many incredible people. Growing up in Tallahassee, spending my weekends at Florida State University practicing with the Tallahassee Youth Orchestra, I never realized how good I have it here. FSU is constantly tossing out incredible people, one of whom I was lucky enough to be taught by; Emily Hanna Crane, my first violin teacher. My current teacher is Betsy Masterson and has been for two years. I look up to her so much and she is just what I need to keep me on track with my musical studies. I have also had the pleasure of walking into the Lawton Chiles Chamber Orchestra class everyday in school. I'm so lucky to have an orchestra at my school, especially in these economic times. Not only do we actually have an orchestra, but we have an all-out amazing teacher; Chris Miller. He has taught me since 6th grade and I'm so privileged to be under his direction, we even won Nationals this year (see "Nationals" page in the navigation menu for more details)! Every Sunday, I head down to FSU for Symphony rehearsal under the direction of Alex Jimenez. The 2008 - 2009 year, we  ( the Tallahassee Youth Symphony) got to perform with the acclaimed hip-hop violinist DBR (Daniel Roumain).  In 8th grade, I met a one of my best friends, Brianna Rhodes. She is one of the greatest violinists I know and excels in everything she does. She is a fantastic musician and I know she is going to go very far. And of course there is another one of my best friends who I met at FSU Summer Music Camp 2007, Bailey Salinero. She has been such an inspiration to me and I can't even begin to explain how much she has helped me throughout my musical endeavours. If I had never met Bailey, I probably wouldn't even have the endurance to practice every day. Bailey and Brianna are the inspirations that keep me going and I can't thank them enough.

Along with the violin, I'm in the Drama program at my high school. In the 2007 - 2008 school year I was in the orchestra pit for Tartuffe and I was truly inspired by the actors on stage to try my hand in drama and I'm so glad I did. After I did Tartuffe I was determined to be involved in as many productions at my school. The musical we did that year was Swing! and sadly it didn't call for an orchestra (just a band) and I was far to nervous to audition for a singing/dancing role so I was a character usher. In the 2008 - 2009 school year, I was in Anatomy of Gray as Jacob Woodworth (my character played the violin and it was a fantastic experience combining acting and music). I was in the orchestra pit in Seussical:The Musical! and absolutely loved it! I also went to ITS Districts in January this year [2009] to compete. The scene I was in "Surprise" from Young Frakenstein won Critics Choice and was advanced to the state competetion in April where we received superior ratings (the highest you can get). I hope to be onstage again in next years production of Pippin as well as the play (TBA).

I go through periods where I absolutely love the violin and won't want to do anything but practice five hours a day. Then I get in modes where I just can't bring myself to picking up that instrument and drag the bow across the strings. The violin can be so frustrating but I always go back to the eager stage of wanting to practice. I need something like this to keep me busy and out of trouble and this is the perfect thing. I'm so glad I fell into peer-pressure (thanks to Elise Thompson) in fifth grade and decided to take "strings" as my elective.

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