VYO Senior Spotlight!

Caroline Tally, cello
Hanover High School
Joined VYOA in 2014
VYO – 3.5 years

What do you love about playing your instrument?
When I was little, I was enamored with the “friend-like” size of the cello and the deep, pure sound it made.  Also, like many young string players, I couldn’t help but compare my bow with a wand from Olivander’s Shop in Harry Potter!  Creating sound and making music seemed so powerful and magical.  Eleven years later, I still feel the same way.

What has been the most inspiring or memorable piece or experience that you performed/had with VYO?
Performing Beethoven No. 9 for the VYO’s 50th Anniversary in 2014 was incredible. The piece was a journey for me – daunting (and a bit of a stretch) at the start and triumphant at the close. After hours of rehearsal, it came together and felt like a huge celebration of talent and hard work from every section of the orchestra.

What would you like to change about the classical music world?
I would love to see the classical music world be less stuffy and more accessible to younger audiences.  I really appreciate the informality and high-level playing of the TURNmusic series and other unpretentious chamber groups popping up on the classical music scene.  My non-musical friends do not “get” how playing classical music can be “fun,” but these performances show the camaraderie and collaboration that many think is “reserved” for athletics and theater.  I am fortunate to have spent two summers at Kinhaven Music School in Weston, Vermont, where many of the most serious musicians I know play with barefeet.

What was your biggest musical breakthrough?
Shout out to my cello teacher, John Dunlop!  Studying with John throughout the past three years has been transformative.  After years of intentional and supportive Suzuki lessons, it was exciting to break-out of Suzuki repertoire and explore new pieces and études with John.  Never in a million years did I think I would ever get to play the Elgar Cello Concerto in E minor!

What other sports/groups/activities are you involved in?
The cello seems to find its way into all areas of my life.  Last year, for an independent physics project, I researched the physics of sound and analyzed the sound spectrums of different cellos – including my teacher’s.  This year I have been reading a lot of Russian literature and exploring its connections to music and history.  When not thinking of ways to use music to make school more interesting, I am editor of my high school’s yearbook and a fair-weather skier and hiker. My sister, Courtney, and I also volunteer with the strings program at a local elementary school – which is very important to me.  My public school kindergarten teacher introduced me to the cello, and I am forever grateful.

What are your plans after graduation?
This summer I am really excited to be spending 8 weeks at Boston University’s Tanglewood Institute in Lenox, Massachusetts.  I can’t wait to focus exclusively on music and be free of homework!  In the fall, I start at Williams College in Massachusetts, where I hope to double major in music and physical science.