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EDWARDSVILLE - Edwardsville High School senior violist Jenae Wright was bubbling with excitement recently about her St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra selection for the 2021-2022 season.

“I am thrilled and honored to play viola with this highly respected bi-state orchestra along with other talented musicians!” she said. “Playing with the SLSYO has been a dream and goal of mine for many years.”

Jenae began playing violin at 3 years old with Carolyn Catalano and has studied privately with Erika Lord-Castillo with the SIUE Suzuki Strings Program for 11 years.

“I am thankful for Erika’s outstanding teaching skills and mentorship,” she said. “I have polished my playing skills in the SIUE Tour Group under the direction of Allison Woerner for seven years for which I am grateful.

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“Victoria Voumard, the conductor of the Edwardsville High School Symphonic Orchestra, has been a very important part of my orchestral and music theory education. Her daily musical instruction along with encouragement, enthusiasm, and support have helped me achieve this honor. I am thankful for the opportunity to study violin and viola with all of these teachers and their efforts through the years of study.”

She also mentioned her other musical endeavors - playing piano under the guidance of Phyllis Jarabak and organ under the direction of Zachary Stegman.

The 17-year-old violist thanked her parents and grandparents for their unwavering support in not only her music pursuits but her life.

Jenae said at the moment, she plans to major in mechanical engineering and minor in music performance at a university still to be decided.

“Music will continue to always be a part of my life as I don’t recall life without it!” she said. “In addition to violin and viola, I also play piano, organ, and flute. I look forward to enjoying this season with my brother, Justin Wright, who is a cellist with the SLSYO.”

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