Most students are specialists in an instrument or in a specific subject. Once in awhile, a particular student proves that a person can be proficient at multiple activites like Isabelle Li’16, who has twice the musical talent with both the piano and the violin.
Many students may see her carrying around a violin at school and sitting concertmaster in orchestra concerts, but she’s also a long-time pianist in disguise. She has been playing the piano for eleven years and the violin for seven years now.
“My mom got me into piano but I used to know a kid who was really good at the violin so I wanted to be like him and that’s how I started playing the violin,” she said.
Like many students at West Side, Li thoroughly participates in the school orchestra, as she has been concert mistress a multiple number of times.
“Isabelle is an amazing violinist as well as an amazing person. She is extremely talented and always so positive. I appreciate having her in the orchestra program,” said Mrs. Brooks, one of the Orchestra teachers here at West Side.
She is also a part of the All State Orchestra, Wabash Valley Youth Symphony, and the pit orchestra for the Lafayette Civic Theater.
Ironically, even with the violin being the focal point of her activities, the piano is what she loves to play most.
“I like piano better because I started earlier on it and built more of a connection to it,” she said.
This connection was shown when she won the concerto competition for the Youth Symphony when she wowed the audience and her fellow classmates in the orchestra. She never fails to impress her friends either, including Rena Johnson ’16, a close friend and supporter.
“She stayed over at my house for a while and she would practice the piano sometimes, and whenever she did, I would just stop what I was doing and listen because it was so good,” Johnson said.
She doesn’t plan to continue either of them seriously in college, but she definitely won’t stop playing for fun.
“I feel like I have better hand-eye coordination and a deeper appreciation for music through both my instruments. Also, music has impacted me with the people I have met in orchestras whom I wouldn’t have if I didn’t play these instruments,” Li said