Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a joyous time to remember those who have passed away. In Mexico, ancient Aztec traditions were combined with Christianity during the Spanish conquest. As a result, each year families construct colorful altars or ofrendas in their homes that essentially welcome the spirit of their loved ones on November 1st and 2nd.
Senior Successes: Katie Hughes Makes a Joyful Noise in the Junior Mendelssohn Choir
For the fifth year in a row, senior Katie Hughes auditioned and was selected to be a part of the Junior Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh. This one-of-a-kind choir showcases some of the finest young singers in the Pittsburgh region.
National Merit Scholarship Corporation Names Six Seniors as Commended Students
The National Merit Scholarship Program recognized six seniors for their exceptional academic promise demonstrated by their outstanding performance on the 2017 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®).
Junior Wins Top Places in International Music Competitions
Bobo Liang won first place in the Young Musician Category in the 2018 International Maestro Piano and String Competition and third place in the 16th International Competition “Luigi Zanuccoli” for Young Musicians.
In the 2018 International Maestro Piano and String Competition, contestants had to complete an application and uphold a high level of playing and musicianship which was determined through a video audition that consisted of two seven-minute pieces of their choosing. Bobo was notified via email earlier this month that she earned the top prize in her respective category. As a winner, she will have the opportunity to play at Carnegie Hall in New York City in July.
On May 29, Bobo participated in the 16th International Competition “Luigi Zanuccoli” for Young Musicians in Sogliano al Rubicone, Italy, under the direction of Claudio Casadei. She competed in Category C for string instrument musicians in the 17 – 20 age group. Similarly to the Maestro Competition, she was required to select music that was at least seven minutes in duration. She played two pieces with piano accompaniment – Popper: Concert Polonaise Op. 14 and Glinka: La Separation Nocturne. Shortly after all the participants played for the jury, the winners, including Bobo who placed third, were announced and given certificates.
For Bobo, music is an integral part of her life. “I don't remember what exactly sparked my interest in music, however, I don't remember a time where music hasn't been a part of my life,” she said. “I started playing the violin when I was 3 years old and eventually switched to the cello when I was six. I've also been playing the piano since I was five.”
Winning these competitions marks the culmination of 11 years of hard work, dedication, and determination. “The music world is always a constant battle with seating auditions, competitions, and recordings one after another and often at the same time,” Bobo explained. “I am proud of myself for somehow being able to balance my music and academic life, along with other activities, as well as managing junior year. I have many accomplishments to show for my hard work and perseverance such as winning these competitions.”
In addition to the July performance in NYC, she will perform at a music festival in France in June, and attend the Curtis Institute of Music’s Young Artist Summer Program in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
While she anticipates that music will be a common chord played throughout her life, she is keeping her options open to other career choices. “I see myself potentially studying music in college and even though I don't wish for music to be my only career, I do hope to keep music in my life in some way or another no matter what I end up doing,” Bobo said.