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Nordic News

The student news site of Inglemoor High School

Nordic News

Student musicians find their fortes

Student+musicians+find+their+fortes

Pianist ponders paths

In fourth grade, freshman Azeem Egizi (he/him) began playing Beethoven, Chopin and Gershwin on the piano. In eighth grade, he learned percussion in school band, and in ninth grade, the French horn. Egizi said he is proud of his ability to practice multiple instruments and try new things.

“I’ve branched out and let myself explore music because the school has all these really good opportunities,” Egizi said. “And that’s why I really like the school and the music program here, probably, because there’s stuff that I’ve been able to let myself do and explore that I wouldn’t have been able to do if it weren’t for here.”

In middle school, Egizi began viewing music as a serious career prospect. Egizi participates in state and international competition. He notably won first place in the 2024 International French Music Piano competition, which gave him the opportunity to play in front of the Bellevue Symphony Orchestra as part of their pre-show. 

“My heart rate went up a lot, and I was really nervous. But music for me, once you really get into it — like in a performance — you find you don’t have anything to worry about,” Egizi said. “And you can just let yourself go. That’s really liberating when you perform.”

Egizi is considering a musical career as a composer and is particularly drawn to composing film scores. He’s inspired by John Williams, who wrote scores for E.T. and Star Wars.

 “If you want to write music for film, you have to think about the instruments and what would fit right for the scene,” Egizi said. “If you want something really heavy, then you also just have to think about what they’re playing and the range. You just have to really know the instruments and the limits of what they can do. Then figure out how to combine all of that to fit everything.”

 

Violist’s vibrant voyage

The average person might not understand the community that sophomore Jayden Chae (he/him) has found through playing the violin. 

“Having a community of people that play an instrument — they’re playing, you’re playing with them — you feel like you’re in an inclusive environment,” Chae said. “You can share your thoughts and really be passionate about it in front of them, because they share the same idea as you, and it’s hard to find that connectivity with non-musicians.”

Chae joined the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra’s programs in third grade and the Seattle Conservatory of Music in eighth grade. SYSO is the largest youth orchestra training program in the United States, with an Academic Year Orchestra Program serving over 490 students in the Seattle area. SYSO musicians rehearse weekly, and they perform three public concerts each academic year at Benaroya Hall or Meany Hall. In addition to the musical community he’s found, Chae says he’s grateful for the opportunities that music brings into his life.

“Next year, we’re touring Portugal for two weeks,” Chae said. There’s opportunities like those that really bring our love out for music, or just with your friends, and a nice community.”

 

Violinist’s visions

Franklin Carter (he/him), a junior and a violinist in the Chamber Orchestra, discovered a unique sense of unity while playing in orchestra. Carter began playing the violin in second grade and has participated in school band programs since fourth grade.

“There’s some satisfaction that comes from having this small contribution to a larger whole that has this immediate feedback,” Carter said. “You’re playing, everyone else is playing around you. There’s this cohesion that I find really satisfying.”

Carter began playing at the encouragement of his parents, but he soon found an intrinsic interest in the ability to experiment with sound. He experimented with creating various noises on his violin in elementary school, something he said he enjoyed but suspects was not enjoyable for his parents to hear. 

Carter said that pieces are always open to interpretation by musicians. Part of his experiences playing in groups has been listening to different variations of how to play a piece and then reaching a consensus about the best option.

“There’s always something that you can do to improve on a piece, even the most minute details. There’s no real sense of, ‘That was perfect. That was how you’re supposed to play a piece. That’s it. We’re done,’” Carter said. “It’s always ‘how can you express the music?”

 

Flutist finds her flair

Senior Abby Yeh (she/her) found that the flute came naturally to her when she began playing it in sixth grade. During high school, the support of the music department helped her continue playing. While trying to balance school work and extracurricular activities, she found it difficult to attend all of the required concerts and football games.

“I do look up to our teachers at school, our music directors, because I had a problem with being able to commit to all the different events that we had because there were so many, and I was so busy with other things,” Yeh said. “But they were still really nice to me, and they helped me get through as much as I could. And they were very understanding with it.”

While she is no longer part of the school band program, Yeh has been a member of the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra since freshman year. She appreciates how SYSO gives her opportunities to meet new conductors and directors. Recently, SYSO played a side-by-side concert with the Seattle Symphony, where Yeh met inspiring Seattle Symphony flutist Bridget Pei. However, Yeh has chosen not to pursue music as a career. She wants to pursue her other passions and plans to major in architecture.

“As of right now, my music career is coming to an end just because I’m not planning on playing anymore in college, and I’m senior right now,” Yeh said. “But before this, I’ve had a lot of thoughts of, if I’m not going to pursue it later on, why would I continue it now?”

She found another motivation to continue her commitment to music: she simply enjoys playing. 

“I’m glad that I have pieces that I can actually really genuinely enjoy playing, rather than needing to force myself to do all these things,” Yeh said.

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About the Contributors
Annika Wegener (she/they)
Senior Annika Wegener is beginning her first year on the Nordic News staff for the 2023-2024 school year. Following two years of leading a writer’s group for a youth organization, she is excited to join another community of writers! She looks forward to writing relevant articles that inform and engage the Inglemoor community. Outside of Nordic, Annika is pursuing her IB diploma and enjoys singing and creative writing.
Piper Kinsey (she/her)
Junior Piper Kinsey is beginning her first year on the Nordic staff as a reporter, and hopes to use this opportunity to learn more about the skills needed for meaningful journalism, share ideas, and work together with peers. In her free time, she loves spending time with her family and friends, baking overly decorated cookies, and drawing.

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