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Violist Plays in National Orchestra

Bow Down Tune This Violist

Cayden+Walters+%2812%29+plays+his+viola+in+the+%0Ainstrumental+music+room+during+orchestra+rehearsal.+He+is+the+section+leader+of+the+section+and+is+rehearsing++John+Williams%27+%22Cowboys+Overture%22+for+the+annual+December+concert.
Cayden Walters (12) plays his viola in the 
instrumental music room during orchestra rehearsal. He is the section leader of the section and is rehearsing  John Williams'

Cayden Walters (12) plays his viola in the instrumental music room during orchestra rehearsal. He is the section leader of the section and is rehearsing John Williams' "Cowboys Overture" for the annual December concert.

Riley Goodfellow

Riley Goodfellow

Cayden Walters (12) plays his viola in the instrumental music room during orchestra rehearsal. He is the section leader of the section and is rehearsing John Williams' "Cowboys Overture" for the annual December concert.

Kate Finman, News Editor

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Senior Cayden Walters is one of the top violists in the country. This is exemplified in his recent acceptance into the prestigious All-National Honor Orchestra.

He started to play the viola in fourth grade because it was “the different one” and first recognized he had a talent for music after he made it into the Honor Orchestra in fourth grade.

He’s a really solid leader and especially during sight reading. He helps to keep us all in the right spot and to know where we are in the piece, due to the fact that he plays with purpose and always on point.”

— Gillian Penna

In seventh grade, Walters auditioned for the Orange County School of the Arts and was admitted. His schedule there was very rigorous; his school started at 8 a.m. and ended at five p.m. every night.

At OSCA, Walters had the opportunity to travel to central Europe and play in several of the famous concert halls there. According to Walters, OSCA helped him recognize how intense the music industry can be, but it didn’t give him “a very well-rounded life.”

“I got my share of OSCA, I got three years, now I can go to a normal high school, have more time to take more AP classes, and do other things,” said Walters.

He came to SJHHS at the beginning of his sophomore year. According to Walters, SJHHS “was a little foreign at first. The first two weeks were a little difficult, but it wasn’t that bad [to transition].”

Gillian Penna, a senior in the viola section, said, “He’s a really solid leader and especially during sight reading. He helps to keep us all in the right spot and to know where we are in the piece, due to the fact that he plays with purpose and always on point.”

So far, his biggest accomplishment is performing with the All-National Honor Orchestra.  

“My goal was to do all Southern and All-State first. I didn’t know I could do All-Nationals. I didn’t even know it existed. So, once I knew it existed I said, ‘Okay I’m just going to go for this and see if I can do the triple threat kind of thing,’” said Walters.

The musicians of the All-National Honor Orchestra come from all over the country and represent the best musicians of the United States. They will spend three days in Orlando, practicing for eight hours every day then spending the remainder of their time at Disney World. On the third day, they will perform several classical pieces, including Romeo and Juliet by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Candide Overture by Leonard Bernstein.

The orchestra will be conducted by Dr. Margery Deutsch of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the whole excursion is funded by the National Association for Music Education.

For college, Walters wants to stay close to home and is mainly looking at the University of California Irvine, the University of California Los Angeles, and Loyola Marymount University. He will live audition for the music programs of these universities in January.

He wants to major in performance on the viola, with a minor in engineering. He is also interested in music composition, which he learned at OSCA.

So far, he has composed 20 – 30 works and hopes to expand his skills to include symphonic pieces.

Walters said, “[Composition is] almost like therapy. It increases my well-being. If I think about something good, I can go write it down and then I will find how I can write a quartet out of that.”

His main goal in life is to join a high-performing, professional orchestra that travels around the world. On the side, he would like to design roller coasters that break records in Six Flag Theme Parks.

Walters does not have any venues right now, but he will be performing in the instrumental music program concerts at SJHHS and in a quartet at the choir concert this Christmas.

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