McQueen High School Orchestra

We Would Like To Introduce You To Lauren DeCasper!

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IMG_4145Lauren DeCasper is a 17-year-old violinist and we love her.  Lauren is from Truckee, went to Verdi Elementary School and is a Billinghurst alum.  Lauren has been a student of Mr. Baker’s for seven years and had him as her music teacher back when Mr. Baker was teaching at Verdi too.  She is one of our beloved seniors.

Like many of our musicians, Lauren started playing the violin in sixth grade. When asked if she chose the violin, or if the violin chose her, she told this story:

In the 5th grade we went to see the philharmonic as a field trip and after the show we got to go back stage to do an instrument “petting zoo” and I absolutely fell in love with the cello and when I came home I told my mom I wanted to play the cello in the 6th grade. With my mom doing her mom thing and not knowing I would actually get this far in my music education she said “Why don’t you start with the violin its small and easier to transport” and me being little 5th grade me knowing I wouldn’t win in that argument I said okay. To this day I regret not learning to play the cello. I love the violin but, I will always love the sound of the cello more.

So the answer is really, she chose the cello, but the violin chose her…sort of.

Lauren feels like the orchestra is her second family.  “You will make some lifetime friends in orchestra.”   She also recognizes that family is not always perfect.  One of the biggest challenges she describes in the orchestra is working together and making sure everyone knows their part and is in tune.  Sound familiar?

We were lucky that Lauren was one of the McQueen musicians who attended and performed at the ASTA National Festival in Salt Lake City last March.  She describes the ASTA trip as her best memory of her orchestra career.  “It was an amazing experience that I will never forget.”

Lauren’s favorite musician is David Garrett as it should be.  “I love David Garrett and not just because of his long hair 😉 he has truly inspired me to become a better violinist.”  She is also influenced by her friend, fellow McQueen Orchestra musician, and graduating senior Callie.  “Callista Alsasua is one of my big inspirations, she is super good at playing the viola and always pushes me to practice.

LaurenLauren is college bound.  She wants to study Criminology and potentially go into law enforcement once she gets her degree.  She is considering a minor in music and would like to keep playing the violin at the college level. Like many 17 year olds she is really focused on getting through her senior year of high school and having a great time doing so.  Lauren also loves ceramics and creating art on the wheel.

Lauren’s advice to a young string student is to practice.  Practice?  “I know who wants to practice but guess what? It actually helps and it will get easier.

Lauren wanted to make sure we mention that she has known Mr. Baker for almost 7 years.  7 years!   “All I can say is he is the MOST modest, attractive, nicest people you will ever meet.”  Right?

If she had to describe herself as a musician in one word it would be “umm yikes“.  That is two words, Ms. Lauren.

This is just the tip of the iceberg that is Lauren.  We wish her a senior year filled with happiness, laughter and, of course, music.  We look forward to hearing her perform this year.  Good luck, Ms. Lauren!

Photo credits to Prestige Portrait Studio and Taylor’s mom.


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