Freshman’s success as violinist grows

Jacob Lo: “I came from a musical family”


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Freshman Jacob Lo is an accomplished violinist.

Madi Tran, Reporter

Along with juggling school work, freshman Jacob Lo is a dedicated violinist. 

Jacob has been a violinist for the majority his life. “I have been playing for at least 10 years,” Jacob said. 

He started becoming interested in playing violin through childhood TV shows. Lo said, “I started listening to music on TV because I was really into cartoons and animation. I really liked listening to the music and I felt like the best way to get that music through was by playing the violin. So I asked my mom if I could play the violin and she was a violinist, too, along with her brother, and she was perfectly fine with (me playing the violin).” 

Lo also has a musical family to influence himself. “I come from a very big musical family because my mom is a big time violinist along with my brother, along with my mom’s brother. My dad sort of plays the guitar and my sister plays the piano and violin. It does help because it pushes you to be better,” Lo said.

Lo has multiple sources that have had an impact on him. “My mom influenced me as a violinist because she’s such a great player and she’s been pushing me to play the violin all the time since when I started at 5. I don’t think I would be a violinist or the person I am today without her. My mom is always my biggest inspiration, but I sometimes also get my inspiration from other violin players like Ray Chen,” Jacob said.

Lo makes a significant sacrifice of his personal time to hone his skills. Lo said, “I have to practice at least an hour a day and sometimes it can go to two to three hours.” 

Lo plays the violin at multiple places such as the school orchestra and occasionally at his church. “I play in the orchestra currently,” Jacob said. “When I was at St. Simon I played the violin at that church for a very long time, but since I don’t go there anymore I haven’t been playing at the church lately. Sometimes once in a while I’ll still play there. I also play with an orchestra. It’s called New World Symphony Orchestra,” he said.

In addition to playing the violin at school and church, Lo also plays the violin at competitions. “I have been playing more competitively lately like at CYO or the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, but it depends because there are different competitions.”

Through New World Symphony Orchestra Jacob was introduced to the ISO.

Lo said, “I was playing with my orchestra and my teacher introduced it to me by saying side by side was an opportunity for you to play with professionals while other kids are playing with other professionals as well. I thought it would be a good opportunity to try, so they gave us about a month to prepare and I went in and I saw everyone playing and practicing because there was excerpts (of music) that you needed to know and then you had to prepare a solo. I was waiting and a lot of people were nervous.

“Then I was called down into the basement where everyone was playing and being judged. They gave me 15 minutes to warm up. They then called me into a separate room. There were two ISO players judging me and a week later I found out I got in.”

Lo says this experience was a monumental point in his life. “(Playing with the ISO) was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had because you’re playing with a professional and you’re nervous, but at the same time it’s amazing because you get professional insight,” Lo said.

Though playing the violin is a passion of his, Lo is not definite on if he wants to have a career as a violinist. He said, “I would say I’m considering being a violinist in the future. I very much do enjoy playing the violin, but I haven’t really had the time to think about what I want to do because there’s a wide variety of things I want to do.”

To Lo, all the work he has put in is worth it. “My favorite part of being a violinist is just feeling the music because when you feel the music and you start feeling the music emotionally. That’s when you start playing your best and that’s why I like the violin so much.

If anyone out there is thinking about becoming a violinist, it’s not going to be easy. It’s actually going to be very hard at first, but if you put time and effort in it and motivated in it, you can achieve a really great talent.”