Western Reserve Academy senior Anne Yu has earned first chair violinist with the Cleveland Orchestra's Youth Orchestra.
Yu, after a summer of intensive training, auditioned for and earned the position of first chair violinist for the upcoming year.
"That is really exciting," Yu said. "Every year there are auditions and I guess this year it was my turn to step it up - this is a huge honor for me. This is my fourth year with the youth orchestra and first chair was my final goal to accomplish."
Yu, a Hudson resident, spent the month of July studying at the Foulger International Music Festival's Young Soloists Program, an intensive pre-professional experience designed to prepare students for conservatory auditions. The program included private lessons, master classes led by world-renowned musicians, chamber music coaching sessions, student recitals and a performance at Lincoln Center in New York City.
"It was a great experience," Yu said. "They have so many artists who teach the master classes and my group had a class with cellist Matt Haimovitz and Joseph Lin, first violinist of the Juilliard String Quartet. There was a lot of practice time and lessons and it was well worth it."
The youth orchestra will have three performances this year at Severance Hall in Cleveland, with the season-opening Autumn Concert scheduled for Nov. 3 at 3 p.m.
Music has always been a part of Yu's life, and it is something she enjoys sharing with others.
"I think of it as a unique way to express myself and show others my passion and hopefully share it with them," she said. "The emotional connection comes when you connect with the music and then the music connects with the audience. Being able to make that connection is what separates a good artist from a great artist."
Yu said she is looking forward to her final year of performing as a member of the Academy String Orchestra at WRA.
"It is really exciting this year because we have so many new students who are taking over and becoming involved with the program," she said. "We have a lot of talent that came in this year and I hope I can inspire them to be better. Sometimes music is hard because it has to come from the heart - you have to learn it and develop it, and leading by example is sometimes the best way to do that."
While she has not yet decided where she will attend college next year, Yu is planning to continue to study music and has applied to Oberlin College's Conservatory of Music, the New England Conservatory, the Curtis Institute of Music, the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Julliard School.