Yash Chadda ’23 is an incredibly talented musician. In addition to playing in GA’s Upper School orchestra, Chadda plays in the audition-only Youth Orchestra of Delaware County and the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA). He also composed his own music during Middle School, which Middle and Upper School Performing Arts Department Head Chris Horner helped bring to life.
“The summer before seventh grade I first created the piece (called Power) for the Middle School String Ensemble,” said Chadda. “I told my friend about it, and thanks to his encouragement I gave the piece to Mr. Horner. He helped to revise and enhance the piece. I played the piece along with the rest of the orchestra during the Spring Concert. It was nerve-racking since I didn’t want to mess up and make the new piece sound worse. However, it was also liberating, because it was my own piece and I had creative freedom to play it however I wished.”
Chadda’s music experience began at the start of 3rd Grade when there was an assembly where Lower School music teachers demonstrated the instruments you could play. This included a performance by violin teacher Ms. Foster. Chadda liked the sound of the violin, and remembered feeling excited to buy his first violin and begin lessons.
In addition to playing in GA’s orchestra, Chadda wanted to feel challenged and to explore different types of music. He decided to play in the Delaware County Youth Orchestra, “...because it would help me improve my ensemble skills, broaden my knowledge of orchestral music, and meet other like-minded musicians. An advantage of DCYO is the opportunity to play with soloists from the Philadelphia Orchestra. Another benefit is that we are learning some modern works by living composers.” Chadda’s favorite piece of music however is classical and by Frederic Chopin - the Ballade no.4 in F Minor for Piano. He also has been playing piano since age four.
Playing music beautifully doesn’t “just happen.” Chadda practices around five days a week. During the week he practices 30-45 minutes, and on the weekends from one to one and a half hours. It might not seem like a lot, but as he says, “Good practice is more about the quality than the quantity of practice.”
Music provides Chadda a good outlet, especially during the pandemic. “There were many orchestras and soloists who did virtual performance videos. It was inspiring that they were still working despite the lockdown. I joined with the GA String Orchestra to make three of our own videos. It was a great way to spend extra time. Our first video of the piece Jupiter was a very fulfilling experience. The beginning of the pandemic, as terrible as it was, gave me more time to write music.”
Will his violin playing continue in his future? Chadda says, “I may pursue music or composition as a minor in college. The violin could also be a great way to relax after long days at work. I could also attend orchestra concerts from time to time. I will probably still write music on the side, and perhaps have it published.” We certainly look forward to Chadda’s next great piece.