Music guides Kate Arnold through life

Just about everyone enjoys listening to music, but few are capable of making it. For senior Kate Arnold, music has made up her life since she was a kindergartener. Almost 13 years later, her love and passion for music has never faded.

Arnold started playing the piano until her middle school orchestra teacher led her to finding the cello. “I heard of the strings orchestra, so I decided to join that, and I just picked cello because they said we needed more cellos,” Arnold said. 

This seemingly spontaneous decision presented Arnold with a newfound passion for the cello. Arnold immediately fell in love with the instrument and still practices everyday. “[Practicing] is something I enjoy, something that kind of relieves my stress. It gets me in a good headspace,” Arnold said. Playing cello is an outlet of expression that speaks to Arnold; for her, it comes naturally and allows an escape from reality. But Arnold’s musical journey has stemmed from her friends as well, specifically senior Tara Avetisian, a fellow musician who motivates and supports Arnold. “We both performed at Carnegie Hall last year, and we will be performing together next summer at the Sydney Opera House in Australia,” Avetisian said. 

In high school, Arnold used to be a part of the Chamber Honors orchestra, Newbury Park’s most prestigious strings group, but had to stop because of her schedule. However, Tina Huang, the orchestra teacher, immediately recognized Kate’s talent, “She was a very musically mature player, and not only did she have a good tone in her playing, she also had a very clear idea on how she wanted to interpret the music,” Huang said, “It’s a privilege to have really talented students like Kate come through this program.”

Arnold now performs with organizations outside of school such as the Conejo Youth Valley Orchestra (CVYO) and Performance Series, a program that gives students once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to play all around the world. “I heard about it when I was still in the Newbury Park orchestra…I auditioned for it and then fortunately got in.” Arnold said. 

From this program that Huang recommended, Arnold has been able to perform in some of the most incredible places that many musicians can only dream of stepping foot in. “I’ve been able to play at Carnegie Hall in New York. I was planning again to perform there this year….I was supposed to go to Vienna, Austria to play this year, as well in the summer but that unfortunately got cancelled as well,” Arnold said.

Despite the setbacks due to COVID-19, Arnold continues to grow and use her knowledge and love to give back to her community when she teaches elementary school kids. Currently, all of the students she teaches play cello, but she has helped with other string instruments and even taught a student learning piano. “I absolutely love teaching. One of my goals is I hope I can spread that joy and that love for music. I wish that was something every person could enjoy because I know just simply listening to music, a lot of people find a sense of comfort, or sereneness to it,” Arnold said. “Seeing kids have that same feeling is something that I try to achieve every time.”