Monday Spotlight: Dreams come true for local musician

Miranda Lucas, 16, a Strasburg High School student, plays the viola inside the orchestra room at the high school. Miranda has made plans to attend a boarding school next year to further her skills with the instrument. Rich Cooley/Daily

STRASBURG – A Strasburg High School student has been accepted into the prestigious strings program at Michigan’s Interlochen Arts Academy next school year.

Tenth grader Miranda Lucas, 16, of Strasburg, was accepted into the academy’s Interlochen Center for the Arts program in March after auditioning in January, followed by a Skype lesson with one of the teachers. The academy is a boarding high school that prepares young artists for careers in the music industry.

“It’s pretty wild,” she said about being accepted into the program.

Miranda plays the viola, which she said is larger in size than the popular violin and has a lower, deeper sound that she has grown to love.

“It’s a cool and beautiful instrument,” she said. “It’s a lot of fun.”

While many musicians begin their lessons at an early age, Miranda said she began playing the instrument in sixth grade and started lessons only a year and a half ago, but has made incredible progress in that short time, earning her a spot at the internationally accredited boarding school.

“I’ve always been interested in music,” she added. “It’s exhilarating to be doing all this stuff.”

She has played with the Shenandoah University Conservatory Orchestra and ranked eighth chair in the Virginia All State High School Orchestra.

“You have to have a knack for it,” she said about playing an instrument. “You have to really want it. You have to just go for it.”

In order to achieve the level of success she has had with the viola, she practices for five to seven hours a day on the weekends and three to five hours on weekdays, showing her dedication for the arts.

“There’s no way to just kind of be a classical musician if you want to do it professionally,” she added. “It has to be everything for you.”

As a career, Miranda said she would love to become a chamber musician and teach at a university.

“It’s stressful,” she said. “It’s such a tough industry to make it in,” she said.

The tuition for this program is about $60,000, with financial aid covering the majority of the tuition for Miranda, but she has been fundraising to cover the rest. She has a GoFundMe page, http://tiny.cc/crnbky, to raise the $10,000 needed to attend the school of her dreams.

“The sky’s the limit,” she said about her future musical career.

Contact staff writer Kaley Toy at 540-465-5137 ext. 176, or ktoy@nvdaily.com

On the net

Listen to Miranda Lucas play the viola at https://www.youtube.com/embed/4dUd85nG00U.