42 FALL 2018 | WWW.SHAKER.LIFE
In early June, the 15-year-old sophomore
learned that she’d successfully become a
member of the percussion section of the
prestigious Cleveland Orchestra Youth
Orchestra. Later in the month, she traveled with
the Cleveland Youth Wind Symphony to Italy, where for nearly two weeks she explored the
country with her fellow symphony members, performed in several local concerts, and played
in the Florence Youth Festival.
She spent the balance of her summer prepping for her school year music commitments
(she’s a member of the Shaker Heights High School Marching Band and the Wind Ensemble)
and practicing for her Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra chair placement audition in August.
“The trip to Italy was one of my top travel experiences,” Alexa says. “Being in the Cleveland
Youth Wind Symphony gave me the opportunity to be in another country and to do something
that I love to do.”
In a summer filled with rewards for her hard work and hours of practice, Alexa says there’s
one moment that stands above the rest: the Youth Wind Symphony’s final performance in
Rome’s Sant’Ignazio Church. The acoustics at Sant’Ignazio were the finest Alexa and her fellow
symphony members had experienced. “You could hear every note from every instrument in
every section,” she remembers. “At the end you could hear this ringing of the notes. The sound
was so beautiful that many of us were crying.”
Alexa is grateful for the opportunities she’s earned and engaged in over the summer. “I
know that experiencing these things when I’m younger prepares me for what might come my
way in the future,” she says.
Sophomore Alexa Clawson
started her summer on a
high note and held on to it
for the next 10 weeks.
Photo by Jason Miller