The student online newsmagazine of SHS

The Journal Rewired

The student online newsmagazine of SHS

The Journal Rewired

The student online newsmagazine of SHS

The Journal Rewired

photo+by+Salem+Ortega-Morales
photo by Salem Ortega-Morales

Tuning in

Senior explores her love for music

When entering the sixth grade, senior Sophia Richason was encouraged to join an extracurricular by her parent’s request.

At a music call out night held in the middle school, she initially was drawn to percussion. But, on the same night, she encountered a kind welcoming into the world of orchestra, where she started off with the violin and from there, gained a love for music.

“Part of it becoming a passion was realizing how much there is in music,” Richason said.

Upon this decision, Richason had unknowingly stepped into a world full of music that would soon inspire an ever-growing passion to branch out to a variety of instruments.

When Richason began orchestra at SMS and attended private violin lessons outside of school, she faced discouragement and considered quitting altogether.

Richason has been playing violin since the sixth grade.
(Salem Ortega-Morales)

During these violin lessons, she struggled to read sheet music and had an instructor with “zero patience.”

But Richason decided that this stumble would not be the end.

“Even though I had this experience, I think I can do better, and I want to learn … ,” Richason said. “I don’t want that to just be the thing that defeats me.”

SMS orchestra teacher Patrick Ciesielski also encouraged Richason to stick with it because he knew she would regret quitting. Throughout the years, Ciesielski has made note of Richason’s work ethic towards music and witnessed her receiving a gold at an ISSMA contest.

“What makes her unique is her passion for music,” Ciesielski said.

Going into high school, Richason discovered that the SHS music curriculum had a lot to offer, pushing her to keep going.

“Especially when I came over to the high school, I was like ‘Wow there is just so much to learn like you can expand so much,” Richason said.

With this move, Richason grew accustomed to the new environment whereas many of her classmates decided to leave their instruments behind.

Even with this, Richason strived to maintain a headstrong mindset while keeping in mind that her passion was solely for her enjoyment, not for others.

“Yes, it’s nice to be surrounded by people who you get along with and are friends with, but it’s not everything to me,” Richason said. “I’d still be in violin regardless.”

Now in her senior year of high school, Richason is enrolled in three music classes and participates in Guitar Club.

In her Advanced Orchestra class junior year, orchestra teacher Thomas Wright granted her the title of the concertmaster, which requires tuning the orchestra, suggesting bowings and sometimes playing solos within the music.

Wright has witnessed her strive to improve. He believes that Richason takes initiative to learn on her own and “really engages in learning the music on the page,” and he has chosen her to uphold these responsibilities.

“If she comes across something that’s difficult, she’s willing to put in extra time to figure it out,” Wright said.

After completing AP Music Theory, Richason decided to explore music beyond string instruments and joined Percussion.

Band teacher Jeff Maupin has noticed Richason’s strive to adapt to a new field of instruments and maintaining quick thinking.

“She was brand-new to percussion this year and has picked it up and done a great job with it having never played the instrument before,” Maupin said.

Wright has seen Richason applying her skills within percussion back in orchestra as well.

“She’s willing to expand her musical horizons, and then she figures out how that relates back to the violin,” Wright said.

According to Wright, the majority of percussion consists of counting rhythms and feeling beats, which Richason has applied when looking at a piece of music, helping her become a ‘better orchestra player.’

“She plays the rhythms cleaner,” Wright said. “She plays them with more intents and purposes,” Wright said.

When Richason reflects on the years of hard work, she realizes that she could do it all along.

“Staying consistent with music and seeing the growth and the progress has been really cool,” Richason said.

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About the Contributor
Lucy Len Dim, Features Reporter
Hi guys, I’m Lucy Len Dim! I’ve always loved being able to express ideas and feelings through writing, so I joined the Journal as a Feature reporter. I try to be involved and open myself up to new opportunities so I joined Drama Club and I serve as  the Sophomore Class President. After high school, I plan to study psychology and teaching alongside theater arts. But, I’d absolutely love to go on a mission trip where I can share my faith with others because I love kids and of course, traveling! I am in LOVE with Tennessee, rainforests, and beaches so I’d definitely love to head there for a trip. In my free time, I watch rom-coms and family shows with my brothers while eating endless bags of spicy chips. My favorite rom com is “10 Things I Hate About You” and my favorite family show is “Fuller House.” Speaking of family, playing volleyball with my cousins is my way of ending a perfect summer grill-out night. Nevertheless, I’m happiest with my girls. We support and help one another out while still living out our teenage girl lives! We love listening to Taylor Swift together! But even though I love being surrounded by people, I’m a complete germaphobe and clean freak. I hate bacteria, dirt, or just the risk of getting sick. So to sum it up, I love bright, unique energy and hope I can bring some to you through our feature stories!

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