Courtesy Eve Zhang
When Eve joined her first orchestra in America, she was met by many unfamiliar faces and foreign voices. However, despite their differences, Eve and her peers had one thing in common: their shared love for music. This mutual bond helped Eve push past the initial discomfort and familiarize herself with her new community.
“Originally, the language barrier made it hard to communicate with my peers,” Eve said. “Joining the orchestra gave me a wider circle to reach out to and helped to create friendships.”
Before moving to the Bay Area, Eve began her musical career at the age of four by learning the piano. After joining the school band a few years later, she discovered her fascination with the french horn.
“Out of all the instruments available, I really enjoyed the way that it sounded, especially along with the woodwinds in an orchestra,” Eve said.
Eve used to consider music as simply an entertaining hobby that she could pursue. It was a low commitment opportunity that allowed her to develop a passion that didn’t occupy too much of her daily life.
“When I was little, playing an instrument was just something that I did purely for fun,” Eve said. “I enjoyed doing it, but it wasn’t a big part of my life yet.”
After moving, Eve discovered the California Youth Symphony in the second semester of seventh grade. She quickly met peers with a similar interest in music and this helped her feel a sense of belonging. The extra-curricular also gave her an opportunity to practice her instrument and skills.
“Youth orchestra really gave me some confidence in my playing and allowed me to meet many close friends,” Eve said. “Since many of them were much older than me, they taught me about music and life in general.”
Because orchestra has become such a big part of her life, Eve has chosen to be more diligent about practicing on a daily basis, which she attributes to her move to the Bay Area.
“I started playing in an orchestra outside of school and other chamber music groups,” Eve said. “Music has become a more important part of me, and I think this has helped me improve over the years.”