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Ladue’s Violin Virtuoso

Sophomore+Anna+Zhong+sits+in+the+band+room+during+second+hour+Mar.+6.+
Sophomore Anna Zhong sits in the band room during second hour Mar. 6.

Sophomore Anna Zhong sits in the band room during second hour Mar. 6.

Photo by Felix Hu

Photo by Felix Hu

Sophomore Anna Zhong sits in the band room during second hour Mar. 6.

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Sophomore Anna Zhong is leading Ladue’s next generation of violin virtuosos. Ladue Symphonic Orchestra’s co-concertmaster’s job is far from easy, however. Since she was five years old, practicing and performing have taken up a large portion of Zhong’s daily life.

“Contrary to what most people do, I normally schedule all of my extracurricular activities around violin,” Zhong said. “I try to practice an hour a day. A combination of music programs and private lessons takes up another eight hours per week.”

Her perseverance in violin has paid off. In previous years, and this year especially, Zhong has participated in highly selective musical programs.

“I’m part of St. Louis Youth Symphony Orchestra,” Zhong said. “I also play for the Webster’s Young Artist Chamber Program, which is more focused on chamber music than orchestral music.”

On the side, Zhong competes in a multitude of prestigious violin competitions. These happen throughout the school year and require extra practice.

For the past few years, I have attended Music Teachers National Association contests and University City’s concerto competition, which will be happening this March,” Zhong said.

The rigor of her violin classes and rehearsals can sometimes have negative effects on Zhong’s school work. This has led to tough compromises with her time-usage.

“I recently had a preparatory concert and I got home at around 10 p.m.,” Zhong said. “I then had no time to study for my AP physics quiz.”

Despite the drawbacks, Zhong continues to vigorously practice her instrument.

“I’d say that I really look forward to all violin-related activities. I don’t have a problem with being busy if it’s for the violin,” Zhong said. “That mentality is probably due to the community of string-instrument players. They motivate me to practice and push myself harder. It makes me look forward to rehearsals together.”

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Ladue’s Violin Virtuoso