The student news site of Mill Valley High School

Mill Valley News

The student news site of Mill Valley High School

Mill Valley News

The student news site of Mill Valley High School

Mill Valley News

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I Am Mill Valley: senior Sarah Anderson plays the violin in Orchestras around the city

After being inspired by someone in her church she started playing and now is in state orchestra


Q: How did you get into playing the violin?

Sarah Anderson: I started playing the violin because I saw someone in church play violin and I wanted to know how it worked. At first my parents did not let me, so I had to beg them for about a year before they finally let me rent my first violin and allowed me to start lessons. I love playing with other people and the string community. My younger brother also plays violin so we do a lot of duets together and it’s really fun. There’s also a pretty big string community in Kansas City so I’m in a lot of different orchestras and chamber groups which are super fun.

Q: How often do you practice?

SA: I try to practice two to three hours a day, but that can change depending on my homework or other extracurricular activities. I start with scaIes and a kreutzer etude to warm up for about 40 minutes and then I work on orchestra pieces for a half hour. The rest of my practice time I work on my solo or audition materials. 

Q: How did you start playing in orchestras? 

SA: I joined my first orchestra in second grade because my teacher recommended it to me. I was actually the worst person in the group. I sat last chair, but I had the best stand partner so I kept auditioning. I would hear about other groups from my friends in orchestra and started joining even more groups.

Q: What is orchestra like?

SA: Playing in an orchestra is one of my favorite extracurriculars. It is so exciting to meet with one hundred other people who have all put so much effort into their music and finally put it together. It is also so nice to be able to perform in really beautiful concert halls with orchestras and explore a bunch of different musical genres.

Q: What orchestras have you been a member of?

SA: I’ve been a member of the Olathe Youth Symphony, Kansas City Youth Symphony, the KMEA 2022 and 2024 All State and District Honors orchestras and the Heartland Chamber Festival Orchestra. Last year, I was in the school’s pit orchestra and this year I was in the “Frozen” Premiere Pit Orchestra.

Q: How do you make it to state orchestra?

SA: To get into the state orchestra, you first have to audition and make districts. For both auditions, we’re given four excerpts and two scales during the summer to prepare for the audition. Everyone who makes their district orchestra then gets to audition for state. 

Q: What is state orchestra like?

SA: State orchestra is a really fun experience and it took place in Wichita, Kansas this school year. We rehearsed from 8:15 am to 9:30 pm every day, with breaks for lunch and dinner. We got a lot of really diverse music pieces. While it was fun to play, it was also really fun to catch up and see everyone from across the state that I had not seen in a while.

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About the Contributors
Kate Haney
Kate Haney, JAG editor-in-chief
This is senior Kate Haney’s third year on the JAG yearbook staff and she will be taking on the position of JAG editor-in-chief. When not in C-101, you can find her participating in NHS, NEHS and SNHS or hanging out with the Mill Valley swim team. Outside of school, you can catch her working at Target, rereading and obsessing over her favorite fantasy novels, stressing over her homework, watching her comfort movies and shows or fangirling with her younger sister about their favorite celebrities. 
Molly Griffin
Molly Griffin, JAG social media and managing editor
This is junior Molly Griffin's second year on the JAG yearbook staff and she will be taking on the position of co-social media and managing editor. When not in the C-101 you can find her participating in Relay for Life or at the MV softball field. Outside of school, you can find her playing on her club softball team, working at Pink Charming Boutique, or watching the sunset with her friends.

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