Please say hello to Raelynn de la Cruz. Raelynn is a 17-year-old viola player and a Senior in the McQueen Orchestra and class Historian. She is real, honest and inspiring. You will see what we mean. Raelynn is a Reno native, went to Peavine Elementary School and Clayton Middle School. Of course, we love her.
Raelynn started playing the viola in sixth grade. “At first I wanted to play the trumpet because my cousin played it, but I couldn’t get a single sound to come out. So then I chose to be in orchestra, but I wanted to be a violist instead of a violinist because violins were too mainstream.” She’s a little edgy too. She says she chose her viola instead of the viola choosing her. “I think I chose my instrument because it took a lot of contemplation. I forced it into my life, but in a good way. Like adopting a puppy.” Ok…now are you getting why we love these kids?
Raelynn loves the orchestra. She says there are so many favorite things it is hard to say what is her absolute favorite. “There are too many favorite things. The top one playing and making music, but having such a huge connection with all the other musicians and being a giant family together is a close second.” Her favorite orchestra memories are playing card games with everyone during Solo and Ensemble during Sophomore year and getting to watch her friends perform on their own. Solo and Ensemble is one of our favorite things too.
She says the hardest thing about being a musician is “sometimes you have to accept that you’re not as great a musician as you think you are, and it’s more work that it will ever seem like. But the positive side is that there is always room for improvement, and that you will never stop finding new ways to become a better musician.”
Her favorite musician is Brendon Urie. Right? I told you this girl is awesome. He is the lead singer of Panic! At the Disco. “Not only is he an incredible vocalist with unbelievable range, but he is also skilled at countless instruments. Aside from that also, he isn’t afraid to change things up and be unfiltered and unique.” Unfiltered and unique are good things in our book.
A girl after our own hearts (ok my own heart), Raelynn is a fellow Historian. The senior class Historian to be exact. She also plays on the golf team! Go Lancer! She enjoys cooking, crafts and drawing as well.
The most influential people in her life is “my mom…she is so strong, and will do anything for you and more.”
Raelynn is college bound and wants to be “an experimental psychologist…or a chef…or a cartoonist. There are too many choices.” How great is it that all these kids know they have so many options open to them? The world is your oyster too Raelynn! She also plans to keep playing music. “Music is such a huge part of my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Her goals for her senior year are to stay in the top 40 (wow) and make it such a memorable year that she will never forget it. Beyond senior year she says “whatever I choose to do, I just hope it happens because I completely want it as well as it being the best decision for me. Not just for myself, but I hope that everything within my family is stable, safe and happy and that I’m living the way I want to be living.” We aren’t kidding when we say these kids are inspiring.
Her advice to a young, struggling string student thinking about quitting is:
“don’t force yourself to do something that isn’t you. There is always something out there for everybody, and if there isn’t anything you can think of, then make something up! If you’re discouraged but the passion is still there, let that passion drive you. You might regret missing out on something life-changing because for a moment you were discouraged. People are always around to help you improve, and the biggest person to help you achieve that is you.”
When asked if there is anything else she wanted to say about herself she said, “I’m sorry if any of you ever see me cry because I’m really emotional.” We (I) know the feeling Raelynn. “But if you are an artist then please hit me up and be my friend because let’s totally draw for each other.” She also wanted to give a shout out to her viola family including Mr. Baker.
Her one word, “Inspired”. “Despite anything, music never fails to strike me in a way that nothing else can, especially playing my instrument.”
Good luck Raelynn. Thank you for sharing your passion, being so real and inspiring us all. And we (I) think Panic! At the Disco might be on tour right now. And you know who else is on tour? The McQueen Orchestra. Fall Fusion is November 21, 2015! Don’t miss a chance to see these amazing kids live.
“I want to live a life from a new perspective.” – Panic! At the Disco