Orchestra Student Spotlight – Karina Miner



Eliza Fichialos, Associate Editor

Today’s student spotlight is focusing on one of American Heritage’s own orchestra students: Karina Miner! Karina is a senior at AHS. She’s been playing the cello for 10 years and is currently playing with the Lyceum Philharmonic at the school. 

What’s your favorite piece you have played with the orchestra? “Ooh, it’s hard to pick just one! Hmm… one piece I loved to play and still love to listen to is excerpts from “The Firebird Suite”, by Stravinsky. It was the piece that was the most rewarding when I could finally play it and keep up with everyone.”

What’s it like to be at orchestra rehearsal? “I look forward to orchestra rehearsal because I love to play music with my friends, and I love hearing the parts of the music I’ve been practicing at home come together in real life. The orchestra conductors at AHS work hard to create a learning environment where we can be musically challenged, but also feel a new love for the music we’re playing and for our instruments. The environment makes me want to learn my part well so I don’t let my team members down and so I can enjoy the concert. I feel so grateful I can play the music I love in that sort of environment.”

How do you think orchestra has impacted your life? “I believe that being in an orchestra throughout most of my schooling has taught me valuable life lessons that I’ll use forever. Through being in an orchestra, I’ve learned that each part matters, regardless of if you sit in the front or the back of your section. I’ve learned how to be a team player because I’ve needed to learn my part and not expect to be able to hide my playing behind others. I’ve learned to do the best I can, and be satisfied with whatever happens and learn from it all. I love the music we play and I’m so happy that I get to play awesome songs with awesome people.”

What are your future plans with music? “I hope to start college off in music to see how the long-term environment is, and I might find something I’d like to do long term in music, or I might find a different profession and do music on the side. I’m not sure about the details yet, but no matter where I go or what I do, I know music will always be a part of my life in some way.”  

If you could say anything to someone considering joining the orchestra programs at AHS, what would you say? “I’d say just do it! Yes, the music is challenging sometimes and some rehearsals feel long, but overall it’s really fun and rewarding to be a part of something bigger than what you can play by yourself in your living room. And you’ll meet awesome people with the same hobby as you! Some of my best friends are in the orchestra, and some of my favorite memories are playing amazing music with my ‘cello clan.’” 

Karina is an incredible musician, student, and friend. We are so glad to have such gifted people at American Heritage and in our orchestra programs.