Q&A: Taking charge as a concertmaster


After years of playing the violin, senior Amber Tsao leads the Walnut High School orchestra as concertmaster this year. The Hoofprint discussed what being concertmaster means to Tsao. 

Q: What does being a concertmaster entail?
A: You have to lead the orchestra, and you can help the people in your section if they need help. And you have to be able to play well and show a good image. 

Q: As a concertmaster, how do you lead the orchestra?
A: Sometimes, if the teacher’s busy, I can start the playing or help tune, and if someone needs help playing a specific part, I can show them how to do it.

Q: How do you feel about being a concertmaster?
A: It’s a pretty good experience. It helps improve my playing, and it teaches me how to be a better leader.

Q: Why is being a concertmaster important to you?
A: I’ve been playing the violin for a really long time, so being able to be the concertmaster is the peak of my experience.

Q: What did you do to earn the role of concertmaster?
A: I’ve been in orchestra for all four years here and been practicing violin for a long time, so I already had all the skills to sit in that chair. I’ve been in orchestra since middle school, and I played violin before that. 

Q: What’s your favorite part about being a concertmaster?
A: If you’re just another member of the orchestra, you get overshadowed by the people in front of you, but when you’re concertmaster, people know you can play better. It’s a cool experience to be able to lead a whole group of people.

Compiled by Freda Lei, Staff writer 
Photo by Annika Le