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SOTM: Isaac Cheng

The start of the new school year marks the return of the Student of the Month, honoring inspirational students who have impacted their peers and possess a combination of talent, passion, and leadership. For the month of September, orchestra students have nominated a dedicated, outstanding student who “embodies our orchestra’s values” and inspires creative energy within our community with his optimistic personality. Please congratulate our September Student of the Month, Isaac Cheng, a cellist in Concert Orchestra!

Issac’s musical journey began with the piano at the age of four, which he practiced diligently to take the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) exams through his elementary years. Because of his dedication towards the piano and the time commitment to ABRSM exams, Isaac did not join orchestra in the fourth grade. However, another opportunity arose as Isaac progressed to middle school when he was less occupied with his exams. He debated between learning the cello, which captured his interest because "it looked cool and was not a violin," and the clarinet because his friend was a clarinet player. Ultimately, for reasons he cannot recall, he decided to join orchestra instead of band. Today, Isaac proudly serves as the vice president of the Tri-M Music Honor Society and assistant section leader–a testament to his hard work and unwavering commitment.

In addition to his passion for music, Isaac is motivated by the orchestra community and environment, which he describes as a "period that [you] can relax in because all you have to focus on is playing the music." Moreover, being a part of an orchestra has provided him with invaluable lessons in collaboration and communication. Although auditions and private lessons stress the importance of being able to play well individually, it is arguably more important to collaborate as one cohesive section to play a piece.

After reflecting on his six years in orchestra, Isaac's favorite part of orchestra extends beyond the notes on a page. It lies in the opportunity to create lasting friendships with those sharing similar interests in music. Isaac cherishes and reminisces about the time spent with his friends at orchestra events.

A fun fact about Isaac is that he enjoys making pixel art, which he showcases on a dedicated website, Pixelart, and coding independent projects such as games or tools. For Issac, art— including music, digital pixel art, or game designs— is meant to be shared with others. As he continues to guide and inspire his peers with his enthusiasm and dedication, Isaac finds satisfaction in witnessing the melodies of the orchestra blend and the ensuing smiles and applause.

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