Viola leads senior to friendships, honors and happy escapes

Senior Mallory Welsch practices her viola in the orchestra room at the high school. She earned her second All State last Saturday, Oct. 25.

Coming from a family of musicians, senior Mallory Welsch had her future in mind from a young age. Picking up the violin in kindergarten and switching to viola in the third grade, Welsch has had her fingers on the strings for over 10 years now.

Practicing around 10 hours a week, Welsch is a dedicated musician and All-State participant. “My greatest accomplishment would be making it into All-State my junior year. I didn’t try out my freshman year and got alternate my sophomore year, so when I finally made it last year, it felt like all the work I put in was worth it,” Welsch said.

Welsch also made All-State last Saturday, Oct. 26.

Welsch, the daughter of orchestra teacher Ann Osborne, said she’s learned a lot from her mom both in and out of the classroom.

“My mom has definitely contributed to my success as a musician. She started me on lessons at a very early age and forced me to practice, even when I threw tantrums about how much I hated it. She pays a ton of money for my lessons and various orchestras I’ve been in over the years, and helped prioritize my activities,” Welsch said.

On top of teaching her and allowing her a multitude of possibilities, Welsch said she finds inspiration in her mom.

“My mom definitely inspires me because whenever she goes through something troubling, she still manages to stay positive,” Welsch said.

In return, Osborne is impressed by Welsch’s leadership and is proud of her work ethic. “She leads by example by playing at a very high level, and by helping the other members of her section when they have difficulty with a particular rhythm or note. She really sets the bar for the other students, and I think they look up to her because she is such a strong player. She shows the other students that with hard work and dedication comes results,” Osborne said.

Orchestra playing such a prevalent part in Welsch’s life is what brought her to Cedar Falls High School her sophomore year.

“I played in the orchestra when I lived in Indianola, but we moved to Traer my freshman year, and I went to North Tama where they only had band and choir. I took viola lessons from the UNI viola teacher, so I was already in CF a lot. Transitioning here was actually relatively easy since one of my Traer friends also open enrolled and the students here are very nice,” Welsch said.

Beyond playing with the orchestra, Welsch said she loves the people that music has brought into her life. “The thing I enjoy about orchestra most is watching the trust and bonds that are built throughout the year. I’ve made friends in orchestra that I never would have had the chance to meet if they weren’t in orchestra,” Welsch said.

Making some special bonds of her own, Welsch had made close friends and memories to last a lifetime as being a part of the orchestra. “My best memory was playing with my seniors, Willa Eacret, Taylor Hanson and Kelly Kester in VERISMO, my string quartet. They’re my best friends and even though they graduated last year, we can always remember the fun we had making music together,” Welsch said.

Welsch doesn’t plan on putting her viola aside anytime soon as she plans to major in music performance in college, minor in business and eventually play in a professional orchestra and open a shop for instruments.

Music is an integral part of Welsch’s life and a true source of happiness for the senior. “I’m a musician because when I play, I can forget about all the bad things that happened that day and focus on what makes me happy,” Welsch said.

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