Class of 2020 Senior Spotlight!

Aidan Palmer, viola

VT Youth Orchestra – 2 years
VT Youth Philharmonia – 2 years
VT Youth Strings – 1 year
Presto – 2 sessions



How did you choose your instrument over all of the others?        

I actually began learning violin before switching to Viola four years ago. I first heard a Viola during a studio recital (one of my teachers’ students played the Viola), and I fell in love with the deepness of the C string. I was extremely intrigued, and that was pretty much all it took for me to switch. I love the deep, rich, warm tone of the Viola.

What role does music play in your life?      

I spend quite a bit of time listening to music. I love classical music, as well as folk and traditional music from around the world. I love bringing music to life in the VYO and in my own playing.

What do you enjoy most about playing in an orchestra?  

I love that in an orchestra, many parts together become beautiful. I love getting new music and listening to how all the parts fit together- how different the melody sounds when you add harmony and rhythmic background, and how much more rich the music is with many layers. It is always so amazing to hear how different one part sounds with the entire ensemble. I also just love playing with a group of people who are also passionate about music.

What advice would you give to younger music students as they strive to build their skills?      

The biggest piece of advice I would give for younger musicians is to make a goal and believe in yourself. Find a goal that you want to achieve, whether it’s a piece of music or an ensemble you want to play in (or another goal), and as you practice and work hard to reach it, remember that you can do it! Believe that you absolutely can get there, no matter how long it takes you.

What is your favorite VYOA memory?

My favorite VYOA memory is definitely when we toured Spain and Portugal last summer. The entire experience- visiting completely different countries, trying to communicate with the locals (even though I didn’t know much Spanish and no Portuguese) which was often laughable, among many other things- was amazing. I got to know so many VYO musicians that I hadn’t talked to before and formed new friendships. We had a lot of fun singing on the bus after our concerts.

Playing concerts in front of people who didn’t even know where Vermont is was also pretty surreal. I loved bringing our passion for playing music to other countries!

What other activities do you participate in?          

I participate in Nordic Skiing in the winter and rowing in the fall and spring. Beyond that, I love spending time outside- going for hikes with my dog, walking in the woods, biking, and tracking wildlife. I also enjoy art and learning about wildlife.

What college or university do you plan or hope to attend next year?      

Allegheny College

What do you plan to study in college and how did you make your choice?         

I plan to study mainly Biology and do a minor in Music. I love wildlife, plants, and human anatomy and am planning to pursue these interests through biology. I’ve really enjoyed playing the Viola for many years and want to continue my love of music in college as well.


Congratulations Aidan! Your ever-present smile and calming influence will be greatly missed!