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Krista Lombardi Wins the Performing Arts Rotary Award!

Every month, the Rotary Club of Arcadia honors three seniors who have achieved excellence in academics, athletics, or performing arts. Aside from the plaque and luncheon, this award is an honor, and one that is far from easy to receive. For the month of April, Symphony Orchestra viola section leader Krista Lombardi received the Rotary Award in performing arts. Krista was also the 2023 May Student of the Month, and you can read more about her here



Krista began to play the viola at the age of 10 and has stuck to it ever since. She was the viola section leader of Concert Orchestra in her freshman year and became section leader of Symphony Orchestra in her junior and senior years. In addition, she has served as the viola co-section leader in the Claremont Young Musicians Orchestra since her sophomore year. 


With all these leadership experiences, one might have expected her to win the Rotary Award. However, Krista admits that in addition to her excitement, she felt the effects of “imposter syndrome”. 


“I felt that there were more people throughout the performing arts program that…deserved [the award] way more than me,” said Krista. “But after hearing what Ms. Chen had to say about me, I realized that my work and accomplishments toward the orchestra are a lot bigger than I would’ve thought. Looking back, I’m happy that I’m able to contribute and make an impact on such a great program at AHS.”


One of the comments that Ms. Chen had to say about Krista was that “she has a knack and a passion for music.” This is an understatement. When asked why she enjoyed the viola, Krista shared boundless reasons.


“[The viola] is a very unique instrument…it has the rich sound and beautiful tone like a deeper violin or a baby cello…also, there are some pretty cool viola pieces out there–Walton Viola Concerto, Schubert Arpeggione Sonata, Stamitz Viola Concerto, and Bruch Romanze,” said Krista. “I would say that becoming a violist is the best decision I could’ve made.”


In addition to the instrument itself, Krista has realized the many benefits that playing the viola has led her to. 


“Since there’s only a small number of [violists], we become tight-knit really quickly… creating bonds that stick for a lifetime,” said Krista.


She also added, “In general, viola is much less competitive than instruments like cello and violin”. This allowed her to have greater access to opportunities like college scholarships, solos, etc. 


Speaking of college, Krista will likely be committing to Chapman University to pursue music composition with an emphasis in concert music, while hopefully minoring in film music. That was surely a mouthful, but truly only a fraction of what one can explore in the field of music!


From a shy introvert to a confident section leader, none of Krista’s accomplishments could have been achieved without her teachers and mentors. 


“I want to thank my music teachers and directors who have worked so hard to inspire my passion for music–Mrs. Hymel, Mrs. Blumberg, Mr. Danielson, Mrs. Samuel, Ms. Chen, Ms. Tu, my dad (who teaches guitar), and many more…I also want to thank my friends, for always being supportive of me,” said Krista. “I want to thank my family for being the most supportive and encouraging people to have been a part of my life.”


As a senior with much to look forward to, Krista shares the bittersweet nature of leaving. 


“I would definitely miss all of the people I’ve met the most,” said Krista. “Some of them are still juniors and underclassmen…I feel like I’ve met and played with a lot of amazing people in the orchestra, and I’m just not quite ready to leave them yet.” 


While the program will miss this wonderfully talented violist and friend, there is no doubt that Krista will continue to touch others with her love of music. The AHS Orchestra Program congratulates Krista once more for this amazing achievement! 

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