When Scott Lykins of Nisswa was in sixth grade, he was told he should play a string instrument because of his talented fingers.
Now a junior at Brainerd High School, Lykins is an accomplished string musician, and made the cut to play the cello in the Minnesota Youth Symphony.
Lykins, who has been in the high school's Chamber Orchestra since eighth grade, was named this week's Fine Arts Student of the Week.
Music has always been a part of Lykins' life. His brother played the piano and his two sisters played the piano and the trumpet. His mother played the flute.
He is the first in his family to be in Chamber Orchestra at school.
He began playing piano at age 6. He picked up the trumpet in sixth grade. He then thought he'd try to play the string bass, but it was not for him.
Art focus: Chamber Orchestra
Art activities: Chamber Orchestra and Symphonic Band
Favorite subjects: Advanced Placement chemistry
Most memorable fine arts achievement: Being named second chair of the 2001-02 All-State Orchestra
Artist most admired: Joseph Johnson, Lykins' teacher for Minnesota Orchestra
Favorite movie: "Tommy Boy"
Favorite TV program: None
Favorite song: None
Parents: Roger and Judy Lykins of Nisswa
"I wanted to try something with more interesting orchestra parts," he said.
He dropped the string bass and picked up the cello and has played the instrument since. He said at first it was hard to play because he had to figure out where to place his fingers. But it did not take him long to learn because of his experience on the piano.
Lykins enjoys playing the cello because of the deeper sound it makes. He also said the cello gets interesting parts to play. Lykins enjoys playing music from the 20th century and the Romantic period.
Lykins has been the principal cellist in Chamber Orchestra for three years and performed three concert solos. He also has been in the All-Conference Honors Orchestra. He is a two-year member of the Minnesota All-State Orchestra and last year he earned a spot on the Minnesota Youth Symphony.
Lykins said the Minnesota Youth Symphony is a quality level college symphony. He said there are about 100 members, including 13 cellists.
"I was really excited," Lykins said when he found out he made the cut. "I made it into the top one."
There are four levels of the Minnesota Youth Symphony. The levels are based on performance.
Every Saturday, Lykins travels to Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis to rehearse for the Minnesota Youth Symphony. Lykins receives lessons from Joseph Johnson. He and his dad leave home at 5:30 a.m. and are home around 5 p.m.
"It's a commitment," he said. "We do three concerts a year."
The next concert for the symphony is Feb. 9. Songs composed by Paul Hindemith and Igor Stravinsky will be played.
The Chamber Orchestra will have its concert at the end of February. Lykins said there will be a variety of music at this concert, including songs from Samuel Barber and Bach.
Away from school and the state orchestra, Lykins plays in a few different trios during the summer. He mainly plays at weddings and at dinners. Lykins said he has fun playing in the trios, and the music is usually the same so he does not have to practice a lot.
Not only does Lykins spend time on the cello, he also continues to play the trumpet. He is in symphonic band, jazz band and a brass quintet. He also is on the Warrior swim and cross country teams.
Lykins plans to continue playing the cello after high school. Next year as a senior, he plans to audition at several music schools. He said Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., is a strong possibility. Last year this school accepted six freshmen cellists so competition will be tough, he said.
Lykins will major in music performance.
Magnus Nelson, senior, Fifth Street Journal: The Fifth Street Journal adviser said, "Magnus has been a reliable editor for The Fifth Street Journal. He is a hard worker and is never afraid to cover stories that require lots of time and effort. His friendly nature has been appreciated by all."
Alyssa Anderson, senior, Art: Anderson's art adviser said, "Alyssa is a hard working art student. She consistently produces quality art work on time. Alyssa's media of choice is paint. She manipulates it well and can produce paintings in a variety of styles."
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