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  • The Shakespeare Club's performance of "Julius Caesar" will be on April 29 and 30 at 7:00 p.m. in the WAUD. Admission is $5.

  • Festival of the Arts is April 26 and 27 from 6-9 p.m.

  • Come to A234 on April 26 during lunch for a presentation on immigration and refugee settlement. Pizza will be served.

  • The media center will be closed before and during school April 26 for SMOB voting.

  • See Ms. Safran in B311 if you're interested in becoming Whitman's liaison to the Montgomery County Regional SGA.

  • Whitman Idol is April 25 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium. Admission is $5.

  • Anyone interested in auditioning as a speaker at graduation should come to A212 on April 27 after school.

  • Tickets for prom are being sold starting April 24 at $45 per person.

  • The Science Club will be hosting interactive discussions and presentations on April 25. Come to Room C326 after school.

  • Dogs will be visiting Whitman on April 21. Stop by the small gym during both lunch periods.

Artist spotlight: violinist Manya Aronin

Senior+Manya+Aronin+has+been+playing+violin+since+she+was+three+years+old.+Photo+by+Rachel+Hazan.
Senior Manya Aronin has been playing violin since she was three years old. Photo by Rachel Hazan.

Senior Manya Aronin has been playing violin since she was three years old. Photo by Rachel Hazan.

Senior Manya Aronin has been playing violin since she was three years old. Photo by Rachel Hazan.

By Emily Schweitzer

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Standing on stage at Carnegie Hall, looking out into an audience of over 3,500 people, senior Manya Aronin softly moves her bow across the strings of her violin, signaling the beginning of Bach’s “Partita No. 3.”  

When Aronin was three years old, the roles were reversed. She sat in the crowd in awe of the violinist on stage at a Detroit Symphony Orchestra concert for young audiences with her grandparents. After the show, she had the opportunity to see the backstage workings of an orchestra and fell in love with the violin. A year later, her grandparents surprised her with a violin of her own, and since then, it has remained an integral part of her life.

“Violin was my voice at that time,” Aronin said.  “When I was young, I was so shy, I couldn’t talk to most adults. But whenever I performed, I could play as loudly and boldly as I wanted in front of many people.”

As Aronin has gotten older, she has a lot to balance between music and school; she practices for four hours a day and takes lessons once a week. But the work and time commitment is a small price to pay for the satisfaction the violin provides her, she said.

“I love the violin’s sweet tambour and the richness of its sound,” Aronin said. “I also like how the violin can convey such a wide range of emotions. No matter what mood I’m in, I can always find something to play that will comfort me.”

Sometimes, her rigorous practice schedule comes before her social life.

“Manya holds herself to a very strict practice schedule,” senior friend Elise Grossfeld said. “Whenever we want to hang out, we have to organize our plans around her practice schedule, lessons and performances.”

Manya’s mother, Alana Aronin, said that Manya’s intense commitment to her violin allows her to tackle any difficult musical piece.  

“When I play violin, I feel powerful—like I can make a change. I haven’t felt that way doing anything else.”

— senior Manya Aronin

“Manya has dedication and focus,” Alana Aronin said.  “She can take a difficult passage, break it down into smaller components and build it into a beautiful movement with her hard work and focus.”

Manya Aronin has experienced tremendous success in her violin career already, performing at Carnegie Hall and countless other prestigious venues.  Two summers ago, Aronin was one of 10 musicians chosen to attend Interlochen, a six week summer camp, on a full scholarship.

Despite her abundant experience and many achievements, Manya Aronin still feels pressure while performing on stage.  

“I’ve always had a problem with my nerves while performing—especially when the performance matters a lot,” she said. “In the ninth and tenth grade, my nerves were so bad that it took all of my energy and brainpower to move my bow across the string.”

With time, however, she said that it has become easier to handle the stress.

“At times, I wondered why I wanted to keep performing if I felt like that every time,” Manya Aronin said. “I still get nervous when I perform, but since I’ve gotten more mature, I can cope with it more easily.”

Aronin is currently auditioning for conservatoriesschools devoted to preparing students for careers in music. In general, conservatories only offer music classes, yet there are some academic requirements as well.

Despite the stress of auditioning, Manya Aronin continues to play for herself.

“When I play violin, I feel powerful—like I can make a change. I haven’t felt that way doing anything else.”

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The Student News Site of Walt Whitman High School
Artist spotlight: violinist Manya Aronin