Jalyn Walker is an 18 year old senior in the McQueen Orchestra. She plays the cello. Jalyn is from Reno, she went to Mamie Towles Elementary School, and Clayton Middle School.
She has been playing the cello for five and a half years. “Everyone in sixth grade had to decide if we wanted to do strings, band, or choir as a music class. I remembered the violin unit we had in general music during my fifth grade year, and I chose to join strings.”
Jalyn says the cello chose her. “The cello definitely chose me. I remember really wanting to play the violin in 6th grade, but the strings program only had so many instruments. I was given a viola to start out with instead. Later on, I knew that I wanted to play cello, but I thought that it was called the bass…so I remember being so disappointed when my strings teacher gave me a huge bass to play instead of the cello, and how shocked my mom was when she came to pick me up from school and saw a tiny little kid carrying an instrument twice her size.” She goes on to say, “I played the bass until the halfway point of my seventh grade year, when I switched to cello, and I never looked back.” We think Jalyn would have been awesome and any of these instruments but we are glad she is a cello!
Her favorite thing about the orchestra is how everyone gets along. “Everyone is so hardworking and they’re always ready and willing to help anyone who asks, even it it’s the tiniest favor.” Like we’ve said before, the McQueen Orchestra is a family. Her favorite memories are making it into honor orchestra as a freshman and the trip to Utah. “Honor orchestra was kind of my defining moment as a musician, and that was when I decided that I wanted to go on to do something with music in college.” But Utah was fun too! She loved the bonding that went on during the trip and doesn’t recall any bad moments. That’s how we remember it too!
Jalyn thinks the hardest thing about being a musician is finding time to practice. “I’m super active in the Chamber choir in school, as well as honor choir, honor orchestra, travel, softball, AP classes, and church activities. Especially now with college applications and auditions, it seems like there aren’t enough minutes in the day.” It seems that way to us too Miss Jalyn.
The most influential people in Jalyn’s life is her grandfather. “My Papa is always there for me, and he’s my best friend. He’s been my number one fan in everything I’ve done by far. He’s always ready with great life advice, but he’s also brutally honest.” We’ve had the pleasure of meeting Jalyn’s grandpa as he has chaperoned orchestra events. We should all be lucky enough to have a grandpa like Jalyn’s grandpa.
She says musically, her biggest influence has been Mrs. Burt (sorry Baker!). “She’s been so supportive and so willing to work with me whenever I need it, and I’ve really grown as a musician and a vocalist since I’ve joined the choir.”
Jalyn’s favorite musicians are 2Cellos. “Those guys are crazy good. They’re such amazing musicians and performers, and it’s so much fun to watch them play. I swear I have all of their albums.” We agree they are amazing.
When she grows up Miss Jalyn wants to work for Disney! Her dream job is writing music scores for Disney but if that doesn’t work out she would love to teach either choir or orchestra in high school. Or maybe both? Her live will undoubtedly involve music.
Jalyn’s goals for her senior year are to stay focused and keep a good GPA, “but I don’t want to be too caught up in grades. I want to enjoy everything that I can get out of my senior year, like being super involved and going to as many school events as I can.” She is heading to college to major in music and hoping to get their via an athletic scholarship for softball. She says she will probably consider graduate school if Disney isn’t hiring. We think Disney should probably make a place for Jalyn But we think grad school is a great idea too. Talk to us about on-line graduate programs Miss Jalyn!
She would tell a young string player thinking of giving up the following: “Don’t just give up because things get hard, or because you think that you can’t do it. You literally can do anything that you put your mind to, and music is one of the greatest things you can be involved in.”
The one other thing Jalyn wants the world to know is she loves Disney. Who doesn’t? “I am absolutely obsessed with Disney, especially Disney music. A little too obsessed, some might say…”
The one word she would use to describe herself as a musician is Passionate!
Walt Disney once said, “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” Good luck to Miss Jalyn. We can’t wait to see her and her cello perform at Fall Fusion on November 21, 2015 at the Pioneer Center!