Orchestra first chair seniors


fabiana centeno

It takes dedication for seniors to be a part of orchestra for all their high school year. It’s rare for some seniors to continue but the ones that stay for four years are passionate and don’t get much recognition. Meet the seniors who have worked hard to be the co-first chairs of orchestra. Learn about their experiences through high school and the journey they crossed. 


Melissa Hidalgo  

After being introduced by an orchestra group that played for her class, Hidalgo has been in Orchestra since the fourth grade quit, during fifth but returned in sixth grade. Growing up with a parent who is a musical person, Hidalgo always had a love for music, singing and playing the violin.  

“After a long day of stress or no matter my mood, good or bad, I’m always looking forward to going to orchestra,” Hidalgo said.  

Hidalgo is not only in orchestra, but she is also in Chamber strings since this year. She also was picked for first chair this year.  

“It’s a good way to get me prepare for the future and gain leadership skills,” Hidalgo said. She’s always willing to help the students in her class and help Mrs. Luft, the orchestra teacher. “I like seeing my peers being successful and it’s taught me social skills as well,” Hidalgo said. She especially likes helping the incoming freshman the most. “She made me feel like my part and presence in orchestra matters,” freshman Andy Montalvo said.  In the future Hidalgo is going to Grandview University to major in social work and Spanish.  

“My biggest goal in life is to make a difference in someone’s life and in my community,” Hidalgo said. She would like to continue taking lessons for orchestra there. “I like her positive attitude, she’s supportive and made me a better violin player,” sophomore Leslie Hoang said. 


Sandy Le 

Le has been playing the violin since fourth grade. She got her own first violin in sixth grade and she’s been playing the same violin since eighth grade. 

“Orchestra gave me an outlet to release my stress, it’s one of my easy classes I enjoy going to and look forward to,” Le said.  She attends central and takes AP Lit, AP Psych, Government, Orchestra, AP Bio, AP Japanese and Bio Technology. 

“She’s been a good influence on me and makes me do the right choices also guides me to the right path,” sophomore Kathy Le said. Le has been in Honor orchestra for two years and for her first time was first chair her sophomore year but became first chair again her senior year. “I didn’t want it to be a pity just because I’m a senior, I wanted to work for it,” Le said. She is also involved in National Honors Society as VP, Student Government and was part of prom committee.  

“She’s had more experience with leadership and got more confidence by doing more solo and ensemble, she’s been taking more risks,” Orchestra teacher Jennifer Luft said. Because of orchestra Le got to meet new people and expand her friendship group. She found people who share the same interests. Also found people in orchestra who have inspired her.  

“Throughout the past four years it helped me go through my day and end my day on a good note,” Le said. Le will be attending University of Iowa to continue in STEM and become a researcher in Mayo Clinic. She would like to continue the violin, music or art.