Allison is a 17-year-old violinist and one of our sweetest seniors. She is from Reno. She went to Verdi Elementary School. She is also a Billinghurst Alum. She started playing the violin, like so many of our musicians, in sixth grade. Have you noticed how many of these kids have stayed with their instruments for so many years? We have and we think a thank you to our “feeder” middle schools is appropriate. Allison, like the rest of our musicians, come to the McQueen Orchestra with a solid foundation and true love of music. Thank you to the music teachers of Billinghurst Middle School and Clayton Middle School. We love you and appreciate all you do every day.
Now back to Allison. In sixth grade she had to choose between orchestra and band. “I knew that we had to pick an instrument in 6th grade and didn’t want to play in band, plus I’ve always had a knack for orchestra music. The violin was small and easy to take home to practice (more like sit in my room).” Allison loved the violin so there wasn’t a question for her. “I chose my instrument because I wanted to play the violin. I always thought it was a really pretty instrument and was my first choice instrument. I know how to play piano so it was the easiest instrument for me to pick up.” Like so many of our musicians, her interest doesn’t stop with one instrument. “My second choice would’ve been cello and I still want to learn cello.” There is no time like the present Miss Allison.
Allison loves the orchestra because it gives her an artistic outlet where she doesn’t think she would otherwise have one. “I’m not artistic at all when it comes to most art forms, so music is the only art I can really do, and actually do well.” We doubt if that is true. In fact, we have insider information that Allison is pretty good with a camera. She also has kind words to say about Mr. Baker. “Getting to have Baker as a teacher is pretty great, it was probably the one thing I was most excited for when coming up to McQueen was having him as a teacher again.” Our Verdi Elementary school alum were fortunate enough to have Mr. Baker as their music teacher too.
She doesn’t have a best orchestra memory. She has many best orchestra memories. “The problem with this question is you’re making me think of just one instance that’s been the best, but the fact is they’ve all been the best. Choosing between the Utah trip or watching Chris voicing over Baker for the end of the year video, or in-between songs at festival where Baker talks to us and makes us laugh is nearly impossible to choose from.”
Like everyone, Allison thinks the hardest thing about being a musician is practice. “I know I need to practice, but it’s all a matter of actually finding the time to do it that is the hardest thing for me to do.” Is is not surprising that Allison has a hard time finding time. She is also co-editor and the photo-editor of the yearbook, she takes AP classes and tutors students in math. Allison also is a confirmation core leader at her church and the Historian for the National Honor Society at McQueen. And when she has time left over she takes senior pictures for people who ask her and likes to take pictures in general.
Allison has a number of favorite musicians. “Anyone who can score films is automatically my favorite. Hans Zimmer, John Williams, Alan Silvestri, Randy Newman, Phil Collins, James Newton Howard and Alan Menken are just a few. Those people are the smartest on the planet because they know just what to do to evoke some emotion form an audience without even seeing the audience.” She goes on to say, “I’m weird and listen to film scores while I do homework because to me, it’s more interesting than listening to someone whine about someone whine about something in their life.” She also cites one of all of our favorite musicians, fellow McQueen Orchestra Senior Christian Lin. “I love to listen to Chris Lin play his bass. He shows so much passion in what he’s playing and has the ability to improvise which is something I can’t do.”
There are many people who have influenced Miss Allison’s life. She says, “Another nearly impossible question for me to answer.” Wow! Whoever came up with these questions must be awesome! “My parents have been major influences in my life because they’ve always supported me in my activities and what I want to do with my life.” Also, “Baker is another influence because without him, who even knows if I would still be playing the violin. He always pushes me to do the best I can and even though he’s not performing, he puts in more effort than us sometimes. He’s been with me since the beginning of my musical pursuit and can somehow put up with me.” And…of course,, Christian Lin. “Chris Lin is another influence because he has his life together and is good at EVERYTHING. Don’t know how that kid does it…” We think you have your life pretty together to Miss Allison.
Allison is college bound and wants to be a Pediatric Dentist. “Most people hate the dentist but I was the weird one that likes going to the dentist. My mom seems to think that it could be attributed to her being at the dentist a week before I was born , but who knows?” Like almost all our musicians, she hopes to keep playing after high school in a university orchestra.
Allison’s goal for her senior year is survival. A common theme among our seniors. She is hoping to survive Calculus and keep her GP afloat. She is hoping to spend time with friends too. Her goal for her life is to “have a successful, happy life where I’m the best mom and friend I could be.”
She would tell a young struggling musician not to give up. “Baker’s pretty great so I don’t think you’d want to miss out on having him as a teacher. Also, some of the best people you’ll ever meet will be in orchestra.” We agree on both counts.
Allison says she is really bad at juggling and says not to ask her to juggle. Just looking at Miss Allison’s schedule I think we again would disagree. It seems to us like she has juggling down better than a lot of us.
Allison’s one word is “Proud”. We are proud of her. We look forward to listening to Allison perform in the next few weeks. Good luck Miss Allison! We are proud to know you!