Accomplished Mustang musicians share their stories

Bryan Yeh performs for  the All-State Concert Band

In elementary school, junior Bryan Yeh decided to pick the clarinet as his instrument in a mandatory band class. That choice has stuck with him through middle school band, high school wind ensemble and orchestra and the Claremont Young Musicians Orchestra (CYMO) – earning all-southern and all-state recognition.

“When I play the clarinet, I feel alive because I’m able to use my artistic side to interpret the piece,” Yeh said.

Yeh practices the clarinet routinely after school and on the weekends, with CYMO rehearsals on Sundays and private lessons on Wednesdays. A highly competitive middle school band first prompted Yeh to advance his skills in the clarinet, leading to his recent accomplishment of being selected as one of the best players in California. 

Carnegie Hall welcomes Lucas Villareal to New York

When freshman Lucas Villareal isn’t performing with Symphonic Orchestra, you can find him performing at Carnegie Hall in New York. In the beginning of February, Villareal had the opportunity to travel to New York and perform with his youth orchestra. As a violinist for the Honors Performance series youth orchestra, Villareal rehearses  every day for at least 1-2 hours both at school and at home. During these rehearsals, they go over each piece, complete sectionals and practice scales. 

“When we were in New York, we often rehearsed eight hours a day.After that, I practice at least an hour by myself” said Villareal. 

During his performance, the youth o

rchestra played “Holberg Suite” by Grieg and “Lyric for Strings” by Walker. 

“I personally liked Holberg Suite due to the range of movement and tones they produce” said Villareal. 

“I really enjoyed this experience, it’s especially valuable to me because I know an opportunity like this may not come again,” said Villareal. “Especially since I don’t see myself pursuing orchestra past high school.”

Sophie Lu performs at Carnegie Hall

As part of the Honors Performance Series, freshman Sophie Lu performed at Carnegie Hall on Feb. 4. A cellist in the string orchestra, Lu played songs like Holberg Suite Op. 40 by Edvard Grieg. 

“Throughout the performance, the sound is really clear, so you can hear everything,” Lu said. “I was honestly just trying not to mess up. Luckily, the performance went well.” 

Accompanied by fellow musicians from around the world, Lu had the opportunity to interact with fellow orchestra members from Bermuda, Florida and Canada. 

“It was nice to be able to meet so many people and make friends,” Lu said.