Reprinted with the kind permission of Jessica Tan
The genuine, feeble smile on the 87-year-old violinist's face. The trumpeter's hour long commute to rehearsal. The bilingual bassist learning English after moving here from Korea. And finally, me, the sole high schooler among a sea of adult musicians. We compose the Cheshire Symphony Orchestra (CSO).
After I first joined the CSO, the newspaper ran a front-page story that recognized me as its youngest member, which gradually attracted other young musicians from the community to the orchestra. Uniting people of all ages and backgrounds through a common love for music, the CSO is where both music and stories come to life. Despite having ventured from my school orchestra to the All Easterns Orchestra, I have found no other that can hold a candle to the spirit of the CSO.
From Tchaikovsky to Leroy Anderson, the range of music we play is representative of our own diversity. While my youthful passion for music serves as a source of fascination for the older members of the orchestra, they in turn inspire me with their unique stories. The cellist next to me started learning music when she was young, and just recently started again. The oboe player has been playing for four decades. The timpani player started learning music at 50 years old. To me, their stories represent the lifelong, eternal impact of music.
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