Arts and Entertainment

EHS student to solo for Tacoma Youth Orchestra

Kaelynn Dirks spends one to three hours a day perfecting her skills. - Photo courtesy Ruth Dirks
Kaelynn Dirks spends one to three hours a day perfecting her skills.
— image credit: Photo courtesy Ruth Dirks

Music has been instrumental in Kaelynn Dirks’ life for years.

Now, the Enumclaw High School freshman will perform the Grieg Piano Concerto with the Tacoma Junior Youth Symphony at 3 p.m. May 3 at the Rialto Theater in Tacoma. Each year, the Tacoma Youth Symphony Association holds a concerto contest. In October, Dirks auditioned and was chosen to perform.

She said she appreciates the continued support of family, friends and the teachers who have made this solo experience possible for her.

Dirks has enjoyed music since a very young age, and played piano on her own until she began private lessons in third grade. She studied with Lisa Hogg of Maple Valley for six years and has been under the tutelage of Dianne Nichols in Renton since June 2008. For the past four years, she has received superior ratings in the Green River Region Piano Contest and has participated in the Washington Music Teacher’s Association piano adjudications and Young Artist Music Series.

In 2008, she accompanied Green River regional ensemble finalists at the State Solo and Ensemble Contest in Ellensburg, Wash.

In addition to the piano, Dirks began playing violin at age eight, and started private study at age 12 with Kay Hollingsworth in Issaquah. She is currently a violin student of Rhonda Marsh of Puyallup. This is her second year as a violinist in the Tacoma Youth Symphony Association, where she plays with Tacoma Young Artists Orchestra. She is also a member of Musical Messages, a small group of young musicians who play for private functions.

Dirks is also a member of the Enumclaw High School orchestra.

She spends one to three hours per day practicing piano and violin. In her free time, she plays music with friends and enjoys jogging, reading and creative writing. In the future, Dirks plans to pursue a career in piano and violin instruction.

For concert information, visit the Web site for Tacoma Youth Symphony Association at

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