Welcoming Class of 2020 alumna, violinist Sophia Teng, for our next Alumni Spotlight! She joined Stretto's beginner strings program in fifth grade before ultimately becoming concertmaster in her senior year of high school.
Tell us about your life! What are you up to now?
I am currently a freshman in the College of Engineering at Cornell University and am planning on majoring in mechanical engineering and possibly minoring in CS! I have really enjoyed being on campus in the fall and spring because I got to meet so many more people than I would have online. I've learned a lot of new things from coding the backend of an app to designing in Figma, and I'm super excited to start working on CUAir building an autonomous plane!
What's a fun fact about you?
I am sooo close to trying all of the flavors at Kung Fu Tea (I've tried everything except for the slushes).
What's your favorite Stretto memory?
Tours! The water at the beach in Sicily was so clear, and the gelato was amazing and cheap.
What was your favorite piece you played in Stretto and why?
I liked the Brandenburg Concerto because it had so many parts and I like Bach. It was very interesting to hear everything come together. There was also another piece, the Tchaikovsky Serenade for Strings, that was really fun because it was so challenging! At that point I was still developing and learning and it was a very difficult piece of repertoire but I really enjoyed it.
What advice would you give to current Stretto members?
The leadership experience you take away from Stretto is super valuable when you play in a group. Sometimes Sherri doesn't conduct, and it's great because you learn to listen and cue other people by breathing together. It's very valuable to hone these ensemble abilities. Stretto gives you opportunities to work on these skills, and knowing how to do these things will make you a much better player!