One of my students, Melissa Cantu, received superior ratings at the state level of the University Interscholastic League (UIL) Solo and Ensemble Contest for three consecutive years and garnered statewide Outstanding Soloist awards, a highly prestigious distinction, on two of those occasions. She was principal second violinist of the Texas Region XII High School Symphony Orchestra as a freshman and was a member of the first violin section in each of her three subsequent years. In her senior year, Melissa was chosen to be a member of the first violin sections of both the Texas All-State Philharmonic Orchestra and the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra of San Antonio and was co-concertmaster of her school orchestra (the other co-concertmaster is presently a member of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra). She attended the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, North Carolina, on scholarship for two summers. Melissa performed movements from the Viotti Violin Concerto No. 22 and the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with her high-school orchestra, a movement of the Barber Violin Concerto on a program at the Mexican-American School Board Association's national convention, and a movement of the Bach Sonata in G minor, Unaccompanied, for a master class with the eminent violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg.
Melissa was awarded a substantial four-year scholarship from the University of Houston Moores School of Music, where she continued her violin studies with Professors Andrzej Grabiec and Fredell Lack. After earning a Bachelor of Music degree magna cum laude in violin performance at Houston, she undertook graduate studies at the Chicago College of Performing Arts and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, graduating from the latter with a Master of Music in violin performance.

Briana Ladson was a member of the Texas Region XII High School Symphony Orchestra for two years as my student. As a sophomore, she was chosen principal second violinist of the orchestra.

As a freshman in high school, Alejandra Herrera was appointed assistant concertmaster of the Texas Region XII Concertino Orchestra. As a sophomore, she was a member of the violin section of the Youth Symphony Orchestra of San Antonio. Alejandra was a member of the Texas Region XII High School Symphony Orchestra for three years and qualified twice for the state-level competition of the UIL Solo and Ensemble contest.

As a senior in high school, Alicia Mielke earned a rating of excellent at the state-level solo competition of the UIL Solo and Ensemble contest. She was a member of the first violin section of the Youth Philharmonic of San Antonio.

As a sophomore in high school, then subsequently as a junior, Ana Ripley earned ratings of excellent at the state-level solo competition of the UIL Solo and Ensemble contest.

As a freshman in high school, Aria Nguyen earned a rating of excellent at the state-level solo competition of the UIL Solo and Ensemble contest. As a junior, she was a member of the Youth Philharmonic of San Antonio.

As a freshman in high school, Alison Tsai earned a rating of excellent at the state-level solo competition of the UIL Solo and Ensemble contest.

As a junior in high school, Juan Rivera earned a rating of excellent at the state-level solo competition of the UIL Solo and Ensemble contest.

As a freshman in high school, Alexandra Wiechmann was a member of the first violin section of the Texas Region XII Prelude Chamber Orchestra. As a sophomore, she was a member of the Region XII High School Symphony Orchestra, was a first violinist in the Youth Philharmonic of San Antonio, and qualified for the state-level competition of the UIL Solo and Ensemble contest.

As a fifth grader, Natalie Benavides was a member of the first violin section of the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio Capriccio Strings. As a sixth grader, she was concertmaster of the YOSA Sinfonietta Strings, was a member of the first violin section of the Region XII Bravo String Orchestra, and earned recognition as an Outstanding Soloist in the local middle-school solo and ensemble contest. As a seventh grader, she was a member of the first violin section of the Region XII Con Brio String Orchestra, was a member of the first violin section of the YOSA Repertory Strings, and earned recognition as an Outstanding Soloist in the local middle-school solo and ensemble contest. As an eighth grader, she was concertmaster of the YOSA Concertino Strings, was a member of the first violin section of the Region XII Concertino Orchestra, was the concertmaster of her school orchestra and performed a solo with them, and earned recognition as an Outstanding Soloist and a member of an Outstanding Duet in the local middle-school solo and ensemble contest.

As an eighth grader, Emily Boyd was a member of the Youth Symphony Orchestra of San Antonio and the first violin section of the Texas Region XII Concertino Orchestra. She earned recognition as an Outstanding Soloist in the local middle-school solo and ensemble contest.

As a seventh grader, Scarlette Hsia was appointed concertmaster of the Texas Region XII Con Brio Orchestra. As a freshman in high school, she qualified for the state-level competition of the UIL Solo and Ensemble contest.

As a freshman in high school, Sandra Moon qualified for the state-level competition of the UIL Solo and Ensemble contest.

As a seventh grader, Lexington Porter was the concertmaster of the Capriccio Orchestra of the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio. As a junior in high school, he earned a rating of excellent at the state-level solo competition of the UIL Solo and Ensemble contest.

As a fourth grader, Catherine Carmichael was a member of the first violin section of the Capriccio Orchestra of the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio.

As a sixth grader, Zachary Ivy was a member of the first violin section of the Texas Region XII Bravo String Orchestra.

As a sixth grader, Lydia Orr earned recognition as an Outstanding Soloist in the local middle-school solo and ensemble contest.


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