At 15, Leung is all-state concertmaster

Student achiever

October 22, 2003

The student: Jennifer Leung, 15

School: Howard High

Special achievement: She was concertmaster for the 2003 Maryland All-State Orchestra's March performance. She had to go through three levels of auditions to be placed as first-chair violin, the concertmaster's position in the orchestra.

What is a concertmaster? If the conductor wants the orchestra members to play by themselves, "the first stand just leads everybody, and everybody has to watch their motions. They have their violin, and they sort of move it up and down in cues," Jennifer said. "And by looking at the concertmaster, [the rest of the orchestra] should be able to keep together as a group." She added, "I was honored to be chosen as concertmaster because it means they have faith and trust in me and believe that I can lead the whole orchestra."

What she likes about the violin: "I once asked my mom why she chose the violin for me, and she said that I was the one that chose it. ... I like how the violin is small and beautifully carved and easy to hold while producing a beautiful, rich tone."

Other activities: Jennifer is on a competitive swim team; she was a 2001 Maryland All-Star Zone Team member. At school, she is active in student government and is a member of the math team. She also attends Columbia Chinese Language School, taking classes in traditional Chinese dance.

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