August 1, 2019
By Tommy Yarish, Bridgeland HS
Aug. 1, 2019—Three CFISD students have gone above and beyond in the field of orchestra over the summer, as Romir Adkar, a rising eighth-grade student at Smith Middle School, and Rohil Watwe and Anika Adkar, rising freshman and sophomore students at Bridgeland High School, respectively, were among 400 musicians selected to play in the Houston Youth Symphony for the 2019-2020 season.
With three full orchestras and two string orchestras – including a debut ensemble – the Houston Youth Symphony pledges to offer a comprehensive musical experience for young musicians between 7 and 19 years old at any skill level. Orchestras rehearse weekly to prepare for three public concerts at Rice University’s Stude Concert Hall each season. In addition, leading professionals from the Houston area lead sectionals for each orchestra, and workshops and other opportunities are available for musicians.
The audition process is conducted in April and May, and those accepted into the program were notified in June.
Watwe and the Adkars will all be part of the Debut String Orchestra, which is under the direction of Dr. Jackson Guillen and provides foundational experience for developing string players.
Romir Adkar held a violin for the first time just two years ago in his sixth-grade orchestra class. Within a year, he moved from beginner level up to chamber level with the help of his sister, Anika. He received the ‘Star Player’ award in orchestra at the end of seventh grade and attended the American Festival of the Arts (AFA) Summer Music Festival in June, where he received the AFA Excellence Award.
Anika Adkar has four years experience playing the viola and is now teaching elementary students how to play. She’s also trained in vocal classical music for six years and plays the ukulele.
Romir and Anika’s mother, Neeta Adkar, sees the dedication her children have and credits their teachers in helping find them improve every day.
“The district has provided such amazing orchestra teachers,” Adkar said. “If it weren’t for them, my kids, I don’t think would have this passion for music.”
Watwe plays the viola and has also learned to play other instruments such as the piano and tabla (a pair of Indian drums). He showcases his talents on his own YouTube channel, attended the AFA Summer Music Festival and played all three instruments in July at the Bruhan Maharashtra Mandal’s 19th Convention, which celebrates the culture from the western state in India.
“I’ve always had a love for music and hope to share my talent with the world,” Watwe said.
Houston Youth Symphony ensembles will rehearse at Houston ISD’s Pershing Middle School on Sundays beginning in September. Three concerts are scheduled for the Debut String Orchestra (Nov. 3, 2019; Feb. 9, 2020 and May 3, 2020).