Noteworthy major for musicians

Grace Lee, Asst. Opinion Editor

In a sea of seniors who are pursuing careers in STEM, a handful of Diamond Bar High School seniors will have a future filled with notes and harmonies. They will be heading to music conservatories to continue advancing their education in music.

Seniors Clarissa Antoine and Ryan Chao are travelling beyond California to pursue their passions in the music industry.

Eliana Lontok, Hampton Douglas and Angelina Kim will also attend out-of-state colleges, majoring in music at Boston University, Northwestern University and New York University, respectively. Remaining closer to home to further their interest in their instruments, Rachel Kim will attend USC, Ethan Holmes will attend UCLA and Nicholas Lucero will attend CSU Fullerton.

Antoine will be continuing her musical endeavors at Oberlin Conservatory of Music by majoring in oboe performance. She was first introduced to the oboe after her brother suggested that she play the obscure instrument.

With nearly eight years of experience, Antoine decided that she was going to audition for Oberlin after hearing about the interactions students have with the faculty. Antoine expects to spend most of her time surrounded by fellow music majors.

“I’ll probably just be with the other musicians, and that’s something that I was never really able to get while in high school because at a conservatory, everyone there will be going for the same thing… just trying to be a music major,” Antoine said.

Meanwhile, Kim, who has seven years of experience with the french horn, has her sights set on a career in the entertainment industry and becoming a teacher. Kim wants to play horn for movie soundtracks, which influenced her decision on which universities she auditioned for.

“Since USC is in the heart of downtown LA, it’s the perfect place for me to start getting exposed to the recording industry,” Kim said. “A lot of the faculty have done records for Star Wars or Disney movies, so I thought it’d be a great opportunity if I were accepted to work with them and see the behind-the-scenes of starting your career in recording.”

Attending Northwestern University in the fall, Douglas will major in percussion performance. Douglas had experimented with various instruments before finally settling on percussion in sixth grade.

“I started on the trumpet in fifth grade…and then I wanted to change something up in sixth grade so I played the clarinet for a few weeks, and that didn’t turn out so well,” Douglas said. “I just ended up like, ‘The guys in the back, they’re having fun, so I’ll just start playing percussion.’”

Douglas applied for Northwestern due to the connection that he had with the faculty. She-e Wu, the associate professor in the music department, visited Douglas’ middle school during the summer and encouraged him to audition for the university.

Also majoring in percussion performance, Chao will attend Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University.

Chao was convinced to audition for Indiana when he discovered the school has four full-time percussion faculty members. While Indiana’s music program is bigger than most music programs across the nation, according to Chao, the one-on-one interaction that percussionists have with all of the professors allows a more specialized attention.

Chao hopes to eventually settle down with a professional orchestra, and possibly become an instructor.

“I think one of the biggest thing is how my teachers have inspired me,” Chao said. “I really want to go on to help other young musicians to find their instrument, their voice.”