Bothell High School student to perform violin solo at Benaroya Hall

Annie Song will perform Violin Concerto No. 1 in D Major, Op 19 by Sergei Prokofiev on May 15.

Bothell High School sophomore Annie Song is performing a violin solo at Benaroya Hall in Seattle at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 15.

Annie first began playing the violin when she was 6 years old. She was learning piano when her mother asked if she wanted to play the violin. After picking the instrument up, she enjoyed how it sounded and it clicked for her.

For her Sunday solo, Annie has chosen to perform Violin Concerto No. 1 in D Major, Op 19. By Sergei Prokofiev. She landed on this piece because she used to listen to it frequently before she began playing it.

“It has so many characters in it. It has a very lyrical opening, but then eventually it has these snarky moments and it’s kind of sarcastic at some points,” said Annie. “It changes the mood very differently —frequently — so I think that was one of the greatest things that appealed to me.”

Throughout the weeks, Annie practiced anywhere from 2 to 2-and-a-half hours per day, but recently she has been taking AP tests in school and has been practicing for 1 to 1-and-a-half hours per day.

While practicing for her solo, Annie ran into challenges with the music. She described the opening portion of the song as being the most difficult, while the end of the song is tough to coordinate with the flute.

“The beginning of the piece is honestly the hardest part for me because…at a quarter it’s so exposed. It’s just the melody of the violin and it’s kind of slow so it’s also like, if you make a mistake in the pitch or something, it’s really obvious,” said Annie.

Although she found parts of the music challenging, Annie said she is both excited and nervous to perform.

“This is my first time performing on like, the big Benaroya stage,” said Annie. “It’s a huge opportunity and a great learning experience for me to play in such a renowned hall. Especially Benaroya. It’s not just any hall, it’s amazing.”

Annie is looking forward to opening herself up to what it feels like to be a solo musician, as well as performing with some of her friends who are graduating seniors.

“I’m definitely really nervous just because I know there’s going to be a lot of people,” said Annie. “It’s the final concert of the season. It’s going to be a big one, so I’m really anticipating that, but I’m also super excited.”

Looking toward her future, Annie doesn’t think she will pursue music as a career choice but she hopes to join the university orchestra once she is in college. As an adult, she wishes to be part of a community orchestra.

“Career-plan wise, I really want to be an ICU/Pediatrics nurse right now,” said Annie.

What inspired Annie to get into the medical field was in part due to family experience, and in part from watching a documentary on YouTube. In the documentary she saw, there was a specific case of a child with a genetic disorder who went into the ICU, which inspired her.

“My cousin’s currently in med school right now, and I also have a little cousin who’s experienced a specific medical condition that really inspired me to kind of help kids like him,” said Annie.

For the time being, Annie will continue to follow her passion for music. This summer, she is attending the orchestra music camp, YOLA National Summer Festival, in Los Angeles from July 25 to August 3.

As for advice she has for young musicians who one day hope to perform at Benaroya:

“I’d say it takes a lot of grit, a lot of commitment, and practice is definitely something huge,” said Annie. “I don’t enjoy practicing honestly, but if you don’t practice, you’re not going to get better, so that’s definitely a huge thing. I think having big goals and just trying to strive for those.”

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