Welcoming Class of 2015 Stretto alumnus, Cortize Hicks, for the second installment of our "Alumni Spotlight" series! Cortize graduated from Bensalem High School in 2015. During his time at Stretto, he proved to be incredibly talented, playing both violin and viola.
Tell us about your life! Where are you headed?
My main goal is to eventually become a software engineer. I also want to go back to school for being a teacher and do what I love most— teaching violin to people. I can't wait to get that opportunity! People say I'm crazy but I want to teach high school. I want the kids to understand that the arts are actually meant to be focused on.
What is a fun fact about you?
In 2015 I fell in love with ultimate frisbee. It's one of my favorite sports to play. All my friends in the Philadelphia community helped open my eyes up to see that it's a pretty cool to play a sport that isn't football or basketball. Growing up I thought football was the sport I was going to play, but it turns out ultimate frisbee was it. And it saves my violin hand! No broken fingers or anything.
What's your favorite Stretto music?
Two amazing pieces were the Barber Adagio for strings and the Vitali Chaconne. They stood out because it felt like being in a movie. They were very beautiful but very difficult!
What's your favorite Stretto memory?
In the 2016 tour to China, I tried to wake up to see the sunrise at the Great Wall, but it didn't work out. It was still fun though— it was nice to be able to connect with my peers and enjoy the vacation while we played beautiful music.
What advice do you have for current Stretto members?
Things are tough sometimes but when you get there you can get it done. It took me time to realize that I needed to just be patient and not overwhelm myself because everyone is in their own situation. Don't stress yourself. Take it one day at a time. You want to do all these things, but you have to make a plan to get where you want to be.
Thank you so much to Cortize Hicks! Stay tuned for our next alumni spotlight!