December 2018 Students of the Month

Anika Bhushan, Brian Chen, Carmen Almazan-Briones, Eddie Song, Grace Kuo, Karis Liao and Manna Mesfin are the Students of the Month for December 2018.

DAAYO recognizes a student from each orchestra every month for their excellence as individuals and as a member of their orchestra. Each conductor has picked a student that stands out as a role model among their peers, and we want to congratulate and recognize them for this accomplishment in letting others get to know a little more about them.

Congratulations to all of you!

Get to Know Anika Bhushan:

String Explorers Student of the Month

Anika is a violinist in String Explorers. She is in fifth grade at Centennial Elementary where her favorite class is math. She has one sibling, but stays busy with Sunday school mass, Bollywood dance and choir. Her favorite snack, though, is sour cream and onion chips.

“My favorite thing about DAAYO is that in my group we get a chance to do each first and second violin,” Anika said. “I like that part.”

Get to Know Brian Chen:

Symphony Student of the Month

As a clarinet player in the Symphony Orchestra, Brian is starting his third year with DAAYO and his first year at Allen High School. He stays active in music in the orchestra and marching band at school, but his favorite class right now is Algebra 2. He is the only child in his family but has a dog at home to keep him company. His favorite kind of music to listen to is jazz.

“I just love getting the opportunity to play in orchestra,” Brian said. “The repertoire is pretty fun.”

Get to Know Carmen Almazan-Briones:

Concert Strings Student of the Month

Carmen is an eighth grader at Utley Middle School who plays the bassoon and the alto saxophone in band. At DAAYO, she is a cellist in Concert Strings, but outside of orchestra, she keeps up with her older brother and her pet dachshund. Some of his favorites include sliced peaches and listening to lo-fi hip hop.

“I think, [by] auditioning with an orchestra that’s higher level, you aren’t really being held back by skill level,” Carmen said.

Get to Know Eddie Song:

Philharmonic Student of the Month

As a freshman at Centennial High School, Eddie enjoys playing basketball recreationally and in school. He plays the violin in the Philharmonic Orchestra for DAAYO, but outside of orchestra, he keeps up with his older sibling. Some of her favorites include Doritos and listening to hip hop and pop music.

“[My favorite part] is just getting new music and playing with a group,” Eddie said.

Get to Know Grace Kuo:

Philharmonic Student of the Month

As a freshman at Clark High School, Grace is in her school choir. She plays the double bass in the Philharmonic Orchestra for what is now her third year with DAAYO. Outside of orchestra, she has an older brother and enjoys spending time with family (especially for the holidays).

“I get to play music with my friends and that’s pretty fun,” Grace said.

Get to Know Karis Liao:

Junior Strings Student of the Month

Karis is in fifth grade at Vaughn Elementary and really enjoys science class. Being a violinist in Junior Strings, this is her second year with DAAYO. Karis has an older brother and two fish at home but is definitely hoping to get a dog for Christmas.

“I really like the different levels because all of your peers are the same level as you,” Karis said. “You don’t have to worry about anyone being better than you.”

Get to Know Manna Mesfin:

Concert Strings Student of the Month

As eighth grader at Bowman Middle School, Manna enjoys math and playing basketball. Starting her second year at DAAYO, she is a violinist in Concert Strings. Outside of orchestra, she has an older brother who lives in Canada. Some of her favorites include chocolate and pop music

“I like playing with kids who are in a higher level,” Manna said.