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Sophomore cellist Cassie Ahlgrim leads the way in Sinfonia

January 26, 2018

Passing through the music hall, one can hear a multitude of talented singers, drummers and instrumentalists. One of these skillful artists is cellist Cassie Ahlgrim, sophomore the cello section leader in the sophomore orchestra Sinfonia.

Ahlgrim began playing the cello at four years old. While many of her peers were learning to color within the lines, she was learning scales.

Since many four year olds have limited interest in classical instruments, one may wonder how Ahlgrim got introduced to the cello. Her older sister played a big role in that as she also played the cello.

“My parents were the ones that originally encouraged me to do it,” Ahlgrim said.

With her sister as a role model and her parents encouragement, she took up the cello. Soon her parents enthusiasm for the instrument transferred to her.

“Overtime I started to enjoy it more for myself,” Ahlgrim said. “It has a beautiful tone.”

Ahlgrim never looked back from the cello and she has taken private lessons for the past 11 years. This decade of work has paid off for Ahlgrim, as she is the first chair cello in the Sinfonia orchestra. One might assume that this experience may make people extremely adept at having nerves of steel, Ahlgrim explains that she still get nervous just like any other performer.

“I still get really nervous for concerts but deep down I love it,” Ahlgrim said.

One of her most memorable performances was when she played with the Minnesota Youth Symphonies at Orchestra Hall when she was in seventh grade. The MYS is a audition based orchestra composed of numerous young and talented classical musicians.

“I prefer to perform in an ensemble, because I get less nervous that way and it is really cool to play with all the instruments,” Ahlgrim said.

Some of her favorite pieces to play are the Cello Suites by Bach. If you would like to see Cassie display her talents, stop by an orchestra concert or visit hopkinsrp.org to see a video of her playing.

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