I grew up with music playing all the time– when my parents finished their workdays, I would sit for hours by the stereo listening to CDs. These albums ran the gamut from Brazilian jazz to Simon and Garfunkel, Paul Robeson to Led Zeppelin, Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloe to Civil Rights-era protest songs. My grandmother, a vocalist, and my grandfather, a devoted lover of jazz, shaped and continue to shape my musical world with John Coltrane records and books about Marian Anderson.

I started playing the cello in my public school music program when I was 9 years old, though I didn’t begin private cello lessons until a few years later. As I continued with my studies, music became my main source of connection with other people. I had the privilege to play in the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra for three years, during which time I received coaching from members of the San Francisco Symphony. I studied with SFS cellist Jill Rachuy-Brindel for those 3 years.

I finally became serious about practicing towards the end of high school and into my early undergraduate degree, during which time I sustained an endurance-related playing injury. My professor, Peter Stumpf, helped me to work through this period of time with the understanding that a meaningful musical life meant I had to be able to give something of myself to others– physically, mentally, even spiritually. I graduated from his studio at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music in 2020. During my undergraduate program, I had the opportunity to study Baroque cello with Professor Joanna Blendulf. IU’s orchestral program also introduced me to the late violinist Jorja Fleezanis, a towering musical figure for me who was a powerful model of what it meant to give oneself to ensemble playing. I sat as principal cello of IU’s Philharmonic in 2019, during which time we performed Wagner’s 5-hour opera, Parsifal. It was one of the most demanding musical experiences of my life and one of many special orchestral performances that furthered my love of ensemble playing.

I went on to continue my studies at the Eastman School of Music from 2021-23, studying with Professors Steven Doane and Rosemary Elliot, where I served as their teaching assistant. I sat as principal cello of Eastman’s Philharmonia Orchestra in 2022 in addition to being a part of Eastman’s Musica Nova, my first experience with a contemporary music ensemble, which I look forward to exploring further. During my degree, I was a cello instructor at the Eastman Community Music School and through the University of Rochester.

I’m from the San Francisco Bay Area, and it seems that I’m steadily making my way eastward across the world as I get older. I look forward to exploring London’s outdoor markets, as my favourite way to get to know a place is through its food.