Anna Kalfus, senior at CHS
Instrument — percussion
Ensembles — wind ensemble, chorale
Anna has one of the best attitudes I have ever seen in a student. She is incredibly thoughtful, responsible and kind towards all peers. She is a student who is passionate about music, often taking advantage of any musical opportunities that come her way. She has played in our musical pit orchestras, been accepted into state and regional festivals, has performed in small percussion ensembles and has played in the Vermont Youth Orchestra for several years. Anna is one of the students who stick around after concerts, and without prompt, offers to help clean up and organize equipment. She is such a well-rounded and talented student musician, and am happy to acknowledge her in this way! -Evan Paultier
What has been some of your favorite memories/experiences involving concert and jazz band, from 5th grade to now?
Throughout my life I have gone through a few different instruments. I started on violin, piano, alto saxophone, and then finally percussion. When I picked up my first pair of sticks in fifth grade, I knew that percussion was right for me. Since starting percussion, I have been with the Vermont Youth Orchestra Association for the past six years and I have performed in the District III music festival for the past four years. I will also be playing in the pit, for a second time, for our school’s musical, Seussical.
It is really nice having a percussionist as a band teacher since he never rolls his eyes while the percussion sections sets up for pieces. He also chooses some awesome music such as “Voodoo”, a piece that is played in complete darkness and calls for cymbals to be played on the timpani to make a very interesting sound. I am currently preparing for my upcoming auditions and I’m very excited to see where my music takes me in the future.
How do you think playing an instrument has helped you develop as a young person?
Music has always been there for me, especially when I am feeling down. There is nothing like listening to Dvorak’s New World Symphony or Elgar’s Enigma Variation: GRS (the movement Elgar composed about a running bulldog) to cheer you up. There will always be a piece of music that speaks to whatever mood you are in or whatever is on your mind. That is the true beauty of music, it is meant for everyone. Music has also taught me discipline through practicing and performing. The skills I’ve learned have helped me persevere in school and sports. When I am practicing for an audition I try to set aside some time each day to practice. This has taught me how to manage my time. It has also taught me how to make the most of all experiences. Even if my audition doesn’t go as well as I had hoped, I most definitely had fun preparing for it and performing.
What do you think students gain from being involved in school ensembles?
I think that music should be a priority in schools. It offers so many benefits for everyone such as an outlet for self expression or a new way of looking at math. It also teaches kids that every person and part matters. Each section comes together to create something beautiful, but if we are missing even one part, the piece won’t sound the same. Music is all about supporting each other in order to accomplish the final piece.