Strong, artistic passions demand dedication

Summer allows for new artistic opportunities


photo provided by Giacomo Glotzer

REHEARSALS FOR WORLD STAGE. Senior Giacomo Glotzer plays with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra in the Czech Reupublic this summer. After months of rehearsing, he traveled to three European countries with the orchestra.

Priyanka Shrijay, Opinion Editor

Colorful dresses, graceful dance steps, tireless preparation. Music-filled halls, hundreds of pages of sheet music, months of rehearsing. It was through this dedication and passion for their crafts that dancer Roma Nayak and cellist Giacomo Glotzer immersed themselves in the arts last summer.

photo by EGS creations provided by Roma Nayak
HARD WORK PAYS OFF. Junior Roma Nayak dances kathak, a classical Indian dance, at her graduation performance this summer. On her ankles she wears ghungroos, small metallic bells that enahance the rhythmic aspects of the Indian dance. After six years of dedication, Roma participated in a three-and-a-half-hour long performance, and now has the ability to teach or open a studio in the future.

Last August, Roma, a junior, capped off her six years of training in Kathak, an Indian classical dance form, with an extravagant, three-and-a-half-hour long graduation performance. This performance, called a Visharad, enables her to open a studio and teach in the future should she choose to.

Giacomo, a senior, dedicated his summer to the arts as well, touring central Europe with his orchestra. After 12 years of dedication to the cello, he had the experience of a lifetime playing in Budapest, Prague and Belgrade throughout June.

The preparation put into both Roma’s Visharad and Giacomo’s tour was scrupulous.

Roma rigorously practiced for a year prior to her performance.

“Practice for this started the August before, so for the entire year, I went to class in Aurora every single Saturday for three hours,” she said. “But once summer started, it was pretty much every single day for four hours.”

In preparation for his tour, Giacomo rehearsed throughout the spring, played at Orchestra Hall, home to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and had a kickoff concert at Millennium Park. His intensive practice was for an hour daily in addition to a weekly three-hour rehearsal.

He said, “From muscle memory training exercises to intonation drills to composition research, putting together a piece takes an almost ludicrous amount of time.”

Roma put a great deal of effort into preparing for her Visharad, and learned more than just dancing from her training.

“It was a lot, just because I’ve never been so committed to one thing for so long,” she said. “It was a really good experience because I learned how to deal with different kinds of people and to work as a team. It showed me how to manage my time better and taught me dedication.”

Giacomo’s tour reminded him of and enriched his love for music.

“The tour itself reaffirmed my appreciation for classical music,” he said. “It was so nice to have all these strangers from literally around the world come listen to us and there was a great mutual respect. We might have spoken a different language yet the language of music is universal.”

According to Roma, although she would like to and is now certified to teach Kathak as a result of her dance graduation, she has not been able to teach because she does not live near any studios. Still, she continues to perform and trusts that she will for years to come.

“It’s probably always going to be a big part of my life just because it’s been an important part of my life for so long,” she said.

Post-tour, Giacomo has continued playing in the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra and is pursuing a chamber recording project as an independent study in school.

Looking beyond high school, Giacomo plans to continue to play his cello in college.

“I am not entirely sure what role cello will play for me in college,” he said. “I am looking at dual degree programs as well as a potential minor in music.”

Giacomo looks back at his experience with fondness.

“I loved every minute of it,” he said. “I got to spend so much time with great people who all share the same love for music.”