By Josh Tharp
Playing in an orchestra delivers an experience unlike most. An orchestra has the power to deliver emotion while gifting your ears and mind a healthy dose of music and mood. Jubilant to macabre, Molly Schuster has shown the great skill of delivering the joys of music to not only those that fill the theater’s seats but also to herself. She shows her prowess in her musicianship both in Batavia’s Wind Symphony, as well as other youth orchestra groups such as the Elgin Youth Symphony. She even had an audition on August 26th, 2018, for the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra.
Schuster started her musical journey at the age of five with the violin. She, however, dumped the stringed instrument and in fifth grade, picked up the French horn. That is what truly started her ventures into the world of performance art. She took the horn very seriously, and, with the encouragement of her family, started to be more involved with taking music outside of school. Many times, she auditioned for the Illinois State Youth Musicians group, or ISYM, which is an honors band program designed to challenge music students with harder music and to increase their knowledge of music performance.
This did not satisfy Schuster’s itch to get out and perform, however. She auditioned and made it into the Elgin Youth Symphony multiple times. There, she recounted on her experiences performing in the big ensemble, a smaller brass choir, and an even smaller chamber group. She even weighed some insight as to the school’s Wind Symphony, and the Elgin Youth Symphony. She feels as if there’s more of a connection in our school’s band, versus the youth symphony. There are multiple kids from all over that audition for EYS, but for BWS, it’s all Batavia kids who she has known for years. That allows her to open herself up more, but the unique EYS process sharpens her edge and allows her to experience music more.
Music does not come easy to any and is a difficult skill to truly master. Schuster went into detail about her practicing habits. Every day, she practices about 30 minutes a day doing various exercises to warm her lips up. Going up and down scales and performing lip slurs, which are changing notes without manipulating your tongue, are common warm-ups. After that, she practices her audition material: usually one, or two passages from a solo, or concerto. After a half-hour of practice, she then focuses on fun things, such as practicing pieces that interest her or an arrangement of a modern song she likes.
That’s what being a musician is all about: hard work and practice to bring the gift of music to the masses. Schuster certainly has the diligence, and the passion in her eyes to perform in front of a crowd, and that is something we all can take away, even if we don’t care about music performance. Take that same passion Schuster has, and use it in your own life. Do what you’re passionate about. You do you, and have fun with what you do!