Archive for Wednesday, November 29, 2000

Student’s hobby has strings

November 29, 2000

Since the age of four, the violin has brought much enjoyment to Baldwin High School sophomore Kate Lammers.

"Music is a big part of my life," Lammers said. "Most all my extra-curricular activities are based around music."

BHS Librarian Jana Jorn (Lammers' mother) and Lammers' father heard the Ottawa Suzuki String (OSS) while expecting Lammers and decided that is what they wanted their children to do.

Lammers' entire family is involved in music. Her father, Ed, plays the flute and her stepmother, Elanine, plays the flute and piccolo. Lammers' mother plays the piano and her younger sister, Lynn, plays the violin as well.

Coincidentally, Lammers now plays for the Ottawa Suzuki Strings conducted by Alice Joy Lewis. This program, OSS, consists of 10 books. Lammers is in book eight and still advancing.

Lammers also plays with the Youth Symphony conducted by Dr. Glenn Black. This group plays around the Kansas City area. Lammers plays in nine major concerts a year and many other "gigs." She also plays at country clubs and for concerts at school with the choir or band.

Lammers has earned many achievements in her music career so far. One group she is in was accepted to perform in Chicago for the annual Suzuki World Conference and has also been to many other big concerts and festivals. One main personal achievement of Lammers is that she was accepted to have a master class with the concert master of the Cleveland Orchestra, the fifth most prestigious orchestra in America.

Lammers didn't get to where she is without a lot of work. She practices about an hour per day, takes classes and attends a summer camp each year. The camp is called Sound Encounters and is a strings camp. Musicians must audition and be accepted into the camp. This means they have to be able to play the selected piece, and be willing to devote two weeks to playing.

Lammers has much talent, but the professional music field is so competitive Lammers is unsure how far she will go.

"I'm not planning on being a professional musician," Lammers said. "I love playing the violin, I especially love orchestra, but the professional music field is so fiercely competitive that to even be a violinist in a professional orchestra I'd have to dedicate my entire life to music, and I have too many interests to do that."

Lammers may have the talent to be a professional musician, but her other talents are too important to her to give up. This would mean giving up choir, band and any other hobbies she is involved in. For Lammers to even be working up to getting accepted into a good music school she would have to be practicing three hours per day. That would be a huge commitment considering she is only 16 years old.

Lammers has many talents. She found her talent and is applying herself to bigger obstacles. But for Lammers, it is simply doing something she enjoys.

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