Three Natchitoches Central High School graduates, all majoring in music education at the University of Louisiana Lafayette, auditioned for their orchestra seating last week. Each one of them received first chair and section leader.
According to one parent, these students chose their majors because of the influence NCHS Orchestra Director Mrs. Syll-Young Olson had on them during their high school years.
Olson said she is very proud of her former students. “I, as their former teacher believe that they are engaged in music through many extraordinary experiences they’ve had in the NCHS orchestra and the trips they’ve been on to perform in world known venues.”
Here’s what her students had to say about their orchestra director:
Madison Lemoine, Freshman, Viola
When most people think orchestra and classical music, they think, “How boring?” What do those people have in common? They have not met Mrs. Syll-Young Olson. She taught me for seven years. In this time, she not only taught me how to amazingly play the viola, but also how to be an amazing person. Her pure passion and love of music shaped me into the person I am today. Currently, I’m studying music education at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette due to the passion Mrs. Olson inspired within me. I hope that, one day, I will be at least a fraction of the teacher she is and will be able to spread the love and joy music she has brought me to many other kids.
Emily Boyt, Junior, Violin
Mrs. Olson has taught me so may life lessons and skills throughout high school and through her teaching. She’s taken us to so many places and has given me great opportunities to perform at countless events. She’s such a great person and role model. Even today, she will help me out with anything.
Derrix Jones, Junior, Double Bass
Mrs. Olson was my music instructor for seven years and in that time, she kept me determined and pushed me past my limits. I was able to learn the value of teamwork while also improving my craft. If she hadn’t come to me and asked me if I wanted to play the bass when I was in sixth grade, I honestly don’t know what I would be pursuing right now or if I would’ve been able to travel around the world and experience the cultures that I have. I just thank her for all her hard work and the constant support she has given me in music.
“This is a very remarkable thing to have all three of our small town kids as the top player of their section,” said Madison’s mother Tara Smith. “Mrs. Olson and the orchestra program are hidden gems within the Natchitoches Parish School System.”