Alyssa Huang’s “Piece” of Mind


Photograph Courtesy of Alyssa Huang

Freshman Alyssa is calm and composed as she performs for the second time at Carnegie Hall in 2015.

Rachel Ker, Staff Writer

Balancing school, extracurriculars, and sports can definitely be a challenge but for Alyssa Huang, it is one she takes head-on. For Alyssa, the grind never stops with robotics, school work, sports and above all: piano.  Playing the piano is motivation to her; it is her reason to continue to work hard, a passion and a profound talent of hers. It is a way for Alyssa to tell stories and to her, piano means everything.



Alyssa began to play piano at the age of four. Her story began with her younger brother’s nanny. Their nanny was simply playing a song on the piano when Alyssa became enamored by the unique melody produced by the piano. After learning a few chords from their nanny, she could not stop. The first song she learned to play was a “Sonata,” a genre of music to be played alone. Currently, her favorite pieces to play are from the Romantic era, and these are known for their intense emotion and high difficulty to play and memorize as some last as long as 15 minutes. “[Romantic pieces] make me feel nostalgic,” explains Alyssa. While her favorite pieces come from the Romantic era, she can also appreciate Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s pieces from the Classical era. According to Alyssa, it is difficult to emerge victorious in a competition when performing a piece by Mozart, but Alyssa still managed to snag first place in many competitions.



While it may seem her life is a living musical, there are other important careers she would love to pursue. Alyssa developed a sense of enthusiasm for robotics and is currently on the Beckman Robotics Team. “[Robotics] is my favorite thing after music, and I can do it 24/7,” says Alyssa. One year ago, when Alyssa was a middle schooler, her robotics team and landed themselves first place at the VEX Robotics Competition. “I plan to pursue engineering, and music would be side [career],” says Alyssa. “Maybe I could do a double major in college, where I do both music and engineering!”



Despite her interest in robotics, her dream of pursuing a music major in college seems to be coming true. Alyssa recently won second place in the 2017 American Fine Arts Festival Concerto Competition in the age group 14-18. Due to her amazing performance, Alyssa was invited to perform halfway across the world. During the first semester finals week, Alyssa traveled to Moscow, Russia to perform with the famous Kaluga Symphony Orchestra. Additionally, she performed a solo at the Moscow State Art Gallery of A. Shilov and Saint Petersburg Concert Hall. Alyssa looks forward to playing at Carnegie Hall for the third time in May.



To be inspired is one thing, but to inspire others is another. Alyssa has inspired many people, including close friends freshman Kara Yi and eighth-grader Angela Zhang. Zhang and Alyssa have known each other for almost half their lives. They met through their younger brothers seven years ago. “She is one of the humblest people I’ve met, and her modesty is really admirable, especially since her skill and talent in piano is so vast,” says Zhang. “She is really great and deserves to be recognized for her awesomeness!” Zhang and Alyssa have a form of friendship that is so strong, it cannot be broken. This is similar to that of Zhang and Yi. Yi is originally from Canada. After they met in Physical Education (PE) in eighth grade, Alyssa’s unique personality caused them to immediately bond and become close friends. “[Alyssa] was very outgoing and insanely smart,” says Yi.  



It is obvious that Alyssa will achieve great things in the future. Her life is well-rounded and she does not fail to reach above and beyond normal standards. From composing songs to playing them, Alyssa is anything but mundane. She has achieved so much, yet her life has only just begun. No matter how humble Alyssa may be, she has great potential to become a musician, engineer, or both, in the future.