Alexa Amarok: Orchestrating a Degree
Alexa Amarok has always loved music and singing. When her fifth grade class at Hilltop Elementary in Lynnwood visited a band and orchestra teacher, she was given the opportunity to begin making her own music. Students were allowed to try out instruments. Alexa fell in love with the violin and has been playing ever since.
"I was just really drawn to the idea of trying orchestra," she explained.
Although he passed away when she was nine, Alexa cites her father and his interest in music as a continuing source of inspiration to her. Alexa's family moved to Wenatchee the summer before she started sixth grade. Since that time, she has performed for six years in school choir, and played in the Academy Orchestra and Youth Symphony while in seventh and eighth grade. In her second year as a Running Start student, Alexa participates in the Wenatchee High School Chamber Singers, Hy-Land Singers, and Hy-Tones, while also taking courses to complete her transfer degree at Wenatchee Valley College.
In Music Theory, she and other students listen to examples of music in class and use MacGAMUT ear-training software that allows students to listen to intervals, scales and chords, and then to place notes correctly on a scale. The music classes at WVC teach her the mechanics behind the music, she explained.
"This is a good set of courses that students will get," said WVC Music Director Juel Iwaasa. "In high school you learn scales; here you learn everything to do with a scale."
Alexa encourages students who are interested in college music courses to learn the basics of reading music and to participate in the group effort. "Everyone has to work for it to be great," she said.
After graduating from WVC, Alexa plans to transfer to a four-year school to major in music education. She hopes to become a choir conductor, and to continue to perform as well.