EHS student to solo for Tacoma Youth Orchestra

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

  • Tuesday, April 21, 2009 4:11pm
  • Life
Kaelynn Dirks spends one to three hours a day perfecting her skills.

Kaelynn Dirks spends one to three hours a day perfecting her skills.

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

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 500 words or less.

More in Life

The River Trail at the Mud Mountain Dam Recreation Area provides a walk that offers occasional looks at the White River. The entry off the Rim Trail is well-marked and, of course, warning signs are necessary.
Mud Mountain trails offer a quick, and not too challenging, getaway

Looking for trails? The Mud Mountain Dam recreation area has three within easy access.

PHOTOS BY KEVIN HANSON Every Tuesday at 11 a.m., Aubree Axelson can be found at Enumclaw’s Flensted Park, reading stories to kids and their parents. It’s a volunteer effort by Axelson, who spends most of the year in front of youngsters while serving as a kindergarten teacher at Elk Ridge Elementary in Buckley. The Tuesday events are a drop-in affair, no cost and no need to register.
At a glance | July 2021 events

The Courier-Herald is excited to bring back our monthly “At A Glance”… Continue reading

Rajiv Nagaich is an elder law attorney, author, adjunct law school professor, and retirement planning visionary who has achieved national recognition for his cutting-edge work with retirees and his contributions to the practice of elder law. He is the founder of two firms based in Federal Way: Life Point Law, an elder law and estate planning firm, and AgingOptions, a firm that provides retirement-related education to consumers and professionals.
You probably won’t die in your sleep | Senior Lifestyles

Traditional estate planning is based on notions that are out of sync… Continue reading

2021 Lexus IS350 AWD F-Sport
Car review: 2021 Lexus IS350 AWD F-Sport

By Larry Lark, contributor When it comes to manufacturing compact luxury sports… Continue reading

2021 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S
Car review: 2021 Mercedes AMG E63 S sedan

By Larry Lark, contributor The latest incarnation of the Mercedes AMG E63… Continue reading

2021 Mazda3 Premium Plus
Car review: 2021 Mazda3 Premium Plus

By Larry Lark, contributor The Mazda3 has always looked the part of… Continue reading

2021 Toyota 4Runner 4x4 Trail Special Edition
Car review: 2021 Toyota 4Runner 4×4 Trail Special Edition

By Larry Lark, contributor If the great outdoors is your playground, it… Continue reading

Image courtesy Public Health Insider
Taking an upstream approach to preventing LGBTQ youth cannabis use | Public Health Insider

LGBTQ youth report the highest rates of marijuana use in King County.

Kathie Nguyen embraces Eileen & Callie's Place founder Dr. Natalie Ellington. Celebrate 18!, hosted on July 13, 2019, was also the day of Ellington's birthday. Olivia Sullivan/staff photo
Nonprofit to host birthday party for girls aging out of the foster care system

Eileen & Callie’s Place is hosting Celebrate 18!, a celebration and resource event, Saturday, July 17.

The Blues Brothers was one of the acts to grace the Buckley Concert Series in 2019. The 2020 concert series was canceled due to the pandemic. This year, the Blues Brothers will not be making an appearance during the series. Photo by Kevin Hanson
Free and outdoors, summer concerts set for Enumclaw, Buckley

Rock n’ roll, blues, jazz and more coming July, August

Image courtesy Public Health Insider
Supporting survivors of domestic violence during COVID-19 | Public Health Insider

DV-related homicides in King County nearly doubled in 2020, as compared to 2018 and 2019.

This scooter, along with other prizes, could be yours if you donate to Bloodworks Northwest this summer.
Donate blood, win an electric scooter, sports memorabilia

Regional non-profit Bloodworks Northwest faces a shortage of blood donations