Cellist Mackenzie Ray, sophomore, plays cello with Metropolitan Youth South Symphony

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Not only is Mackenzie Ray, sophomore at West Linn High School, a 3.57 GPA student, a swimmer, and a soccer player, but she is also an avid cellist currently playing with Metropolitan Youth Symphony. She also plays second chair in the high schools orchestra and also plays in the music pit.

Inspired by a classmate when she was five years old, Ray developed a passion for playing the cello. “I loved the look and sound of the cello from the beginning. I can’t imagine not playing it,” Ray said.

Ray participated in The Cello Society Auditions, where she received one of the highest awards. As a prize for doing so well, she received a bow re-hair and a $50 gift card to a music store. She also competed in Solo and Ensemble competitions and received a one minus, which is equivalent to an A-.

“A career involving playing will definitely be a part of my life,” she said of the future. “I was considering Julliard for awhile,” Ray said.

She also enjoys Marine Biology and animals, so a career involving those areas would be great according to Ray. “I love animals, I’ve loved them since I was younger” Ray said. To channel her love for animals she is thinking about becoming a vet.

To relax from the stress of school, Ray enjoys reading and painting. “I love abstract paintings,” Ray said. “That’s what often inspires my work.” Painting really helps Ray get into a creative mood which “helps with my cello playing” Ray said, “Also painting and playing both help me express myself,” she added

Ray performs with MYS at the season opener on Nov. 24 at 7:30 p.m. The concert will be held at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall and tickets are on sale now on MYS’s website. http://www.playmys.org/ for $10 for students and $18 for adults.