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Walnut High School | 400 Pierre Rd. Walnut, Calif. 91789

the hoofprint

Walnut High School | 400 Pierre Rd. Walnut, Calif. 91789

the hoofprint

Walnut High School | 400 Pierre Rd. Walnut, Calif. 91789

Musician inspires excellence through musical mastery

Nathan Soo showcases his talent through his ability to play six different instruments.
Senior+Nathan+Soo+performs+at+social+science+teacher+Justin+Panlilios+benefit+event+for+the+unhoused.+%5BThe+benefit%5D+was+a+great+experience+playing+with+younger+kids+becuase+it+reminded+me+of+when+I+got+to+watch+my+older+brother+in+orchestra%2C+gaining+inspiration+from+older+kids%2C+Soo+said.+
Photo courtesy of Audrey Nunez
Senior Nathan Soo performs at social science teacher Justin Panlilio’s benefit event for the unhoused. “[The benefit] was a great experience playing with younger kids becuase it reminded me of when I got to watch my older brother in orchestra, gaining inspiration from older kids,” Soo said.

Whether it’s bowing a cello, strumming an electric guitar or blowing into a saxophone, senior Nathan Soo makes the most out of pursuing music at Walnut.

In Blue Thunder Marching Band, Jazz Band and Symphonic Orchestra, Soo takes an extreme dedication to his passions. Soo plays a total of six instruments, including bass guitar, cello, electric guitar, violin, saxophone and piano. As the cello section leader in Symphonic Orchestra, Soo hopes to inspire others.

“The goal is to inspire people to play better,” Soo said. “I hope [my passion] rubs off. I’ve been told that when people hear me play, they want to do better. I feel like I have to play better, my best.”

Soo began his musical journey in sixth grade when he first started with violin. Ever since then, he has only added instruments to his repertoire, in addition to being entirely self-taught.

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“Once you learn one [instrument] you can just use those skills and learn more,” Soo said. “That [instrument] looks cool, that sounds cool, I want to try it.”

However, Soo later made the switch from violin to cello over the course of quarantine, when he first heard Elgar’s “Cello Concerto in E minor,” which he eventually performed at the Autumn Serenade concert earlier this year.

“My entire cello career led up to [the concerto],” Soo said. “That piece is what made me want to play cello.”

When he’s not busy practicing, Soo is committed to other outlets of musical expression. Soo learned how to write music through the AP Music Theory course offered on campus. Currently, he is working on transposing music from the movie “La La Land” for the Symphonic Orchestra cello section to work on together. Additionally, he is in the process of composing his own cello concerto.

“Of course I enjoy [transposing music],” Soo said. “I want [my concerto] to sound like an homage to Elgar.”

Soo plans to major in music in college and pursue it full-time with a focus on playing electric guitar and jazz music after graduating. Soo has already been accepted into the Berklee College of Music through early action and is now waiting to hear back from other schools.

“[Music] is my entire personality. It’s an outlet to inspire people. I think passion is the most important thing in life,” Soo said. “Do not think that you need lessons; you can do anything if you put your mind to it.”

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About the Contributor
Stephanie Cheng, Photo manager and Media editor
Hi, my name is Stephanie Cheng and I am in 11th grade this year! This is my second year as the Hoofprint Photo manager and first year as Media editor. I am also in the Symphonic Orchestra on campus in addition to playing the piano outside of school. In my free time, I enjoy listening to music, going on walks and scrolling Pinterest.
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