High School Violinist Plays on the College Level

Written By: Reagan P.

James River High School sophomore violinist, Brighton Payne, has been selected to play with the Richmond University Symphony.

Payne, who has been playing violin continuously for the past ten years, her parents first signed her up for Suzuki violin at the Swift Creek Academy of Performing Arts (SCAPA) at the age of six.

“She had the cutest tiny violin,” said her mother, Michelle Payne.

Throughout her schooling, Payne has continued to play the violin at SCAPA. Her Teacher there, James Allen, recommended her to audition for the University of Richmond Symphony.

Payne wasn’t able to arrive at the audition due to being out of town, and later was invited to play with the symphony in rehearsal, and then play for conductor, Alexander Kordzaia, one on one.

“After that he pretty much told me I was in,” Payne said.

Payne however isn’t the only student in high school playing with symphony. The University of Richmond Symphony is a mixture of high school students, college students, and other adults.

Payne has been playing violin for the past nine years, and is entering her tenth year playing violin. She’s played in countless different pieces at ‘festival’ where she performed a solo in front of judges and received ratings of superior (highest rating possible).

In middle school, her orchestra teacher, Jill Foster, selected Payne to play in All County Orchestra. A yearly event that is available to select students who audition in front of their teachers.

All three years of attendance Payne’s seventh grade performance seems most memorable.

“One time at All County somehow they didn’t get my name. So they just gave me a chair,” Payne said.

Payne’s chair was the last chair, when she had auditioned she had earned first chair. By the end of the rehearsal that day Payne was moved to first chair of the seventh grade All County Orchestra.

“They usually don’t change chair in All County,” Payne said.

Payne, who didn’t look at being last chair as a set back, looked at the situation as the chance to prove them wrong. That she had earned the first chair and wanted it back.

The following year she attended Central Regional Orchestra (CRO), where the conductor of the Richmond University Symphony conducted the students. Payne recalls that the music was a lot more difficult than she had thought it would be.

“One of the pieces we lost the music to, so we had to read off the people in front of us,” Payne said, remembering another one of the challenges she faced at CRO.

Currently Payne is a sophomore but has expressed getting a minor in music, but aspires to become a teacher. Payne also said that she would apply to scholarships for music, only if the scholarship doesn’t limit her major to music.

As for going to University of Richmond for college she claims “It’s a little too close to home,” but it has a beautiful campus.

Payne’s first two concerts with orchestra happened on the 27th of September, and the 9th of October. The Symphony’s next concert is scheduled for December 4th.

Written By: Reagan P.

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