Academy of the Holy Angels sophomore Natalie Yoo will be playing violin for the North Jersey School Music Association's Region I Orchestra.
Yoo quickly rose to the top as she participated in the rigorous audition process.
"As auditions for regionals are very competitive, I was very surprised and grateful. Even now, I'm still stunned!" the Englewood Cliffs resident said of her acceptance.
Yoo explained that she decided to try out for regionals to improve herself as a musician.
"Regional orchestra brings together many talented musicians to play beautiful compositions," Yoo added.
"As a soloist, I don't usually perform with others, except at school. Being part of an orchestra allows me to develop skills that I can't as a soloist."
In particular, she said this opportunity will allow her to further hone her teamwork skills.
Yoo recently won the International Concerto Competition Grand Prize with a small ensemble and has performed at Carnegie Hall.
At Holy Angels, she plays violin for the Academy Orchestra and Select Strings, both of which are led by music teacher and conductor Andrew Monticello. Yoo also takes private violin lessons outside of AHA.
Eight years ago, Yoo picked up the violin out of a desire to emulate an esteemed older cousin.
"I also believe that, out of all string instruments, the violin makes the most beautiful sound," Yoo added. "Performing music brings joy and love to the audience, and it offers me a momentary thrill."
Now, she hopes to inspire younger students to keep practicing and enjoying music.
This multi-talented Angel is active with Model United Nations, DECA, and varsity track.
She was named Outstanding Delegate at the Phillips Exeter Model UN Conference and earned an Honorable Mention at the Harvard China Model UN Conference.
As a member of the Academy's DECA team, Yoo earned a top score in her role-play presentation and qualified for the 2021 state competition.
As a freshman, she earned a spot on the AHA Varsity Spring Track and Field Team and is now looking forward to the 2022 season.
Her academic achievements consistently earn her placement on the Principal's List, an honor reserved for Angels with grade point averages of 95 and higher.
Yoo added that she is proud to represent the Academy as an Angel Ambassador. In this capacity, she shares her insider's knowledge of AHA with prospective students.