PCM: Why did you want to start playing clarinet to begin with and what do you like most about it?
TC: I remember first wanting to play the clarinet after hearing a demo of it in 5th grade. There was an option to join the school’s band and the first step was to pick an instrument. The person playing performed a melody of Disney songs, and I really liked the tone of the clarinet and how sweet it sounded! Later on, we were able to try playing it for ourselves, and I thought the feeling of the reed vibrating was pretty cool so I ended up giving the clarinet a shot!
PCM: What piece(s) are you most looking forward to learning?
TC: One day I would love to learn the solo from Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin and play it live. It’s a piece that I listen to a lot and being able to play the solo, in the beginning, would be lots of fun!
PCM: Your teacher, Laura Stoutenborough, recently shared you were accepted to California’s All-State Junior High Symphonic Band. Congratulations on this achievement and all your hard work and preparation! What was the process like to audition for this virtually?
TC: I think I actually began working on the audition piece at the start of summer. I practiced it for a while, took a break, and then picked it back up at the end of summer. The hardest part was to record my scales and excerpts. I would have a take I could submit, but since I had the option to redo it, I found myself wanting to re-record a lot. I’ve never actually done an audition in person before, but I imagine recording is much less stressful, so I’m grateful for that aspect of it.
PCM: Ms. Stoutenborough also shared that you are taking lots of extracurriculars and are a phenomenal student. What are some of your favorite activities and school subjects?
TC: I’ve been taking karate lessons for nearly 6 years now, and I recently started teaching at my studio as well! Karate has been one of my favorite activities and has helped me in so many ways. At school, I enjoy math and am part of my school’s math team. I like problem-solving and the competitive side of math, which has a lot of real-world applications.
PCM: Who is your favorite musician?
TC: I listen to so many genres of music that this is a really hard question! One of my all-time favorite musicians is AURORA. Her voice is really nice and I really like how well she controls it! A lot of her songs have interesting themes and touch on important topics. Plus, she just has some of the perfect songs to dance to.
PCM: What is your favorite memory at PCM?
TC: I started to take lessons at PCM only a couple of weeks before quarantine, but I think my favorite memory was my first lesson! I learned so many things about my instrument that I never knew before, and was really motivated and inspired to play more pieces and learn more! I don’t think I’ll forget how excited I was when I got to hear all the new stuff I would learn.