Hitting Every Note


Courtesy of Natalie

Palak Patel

Sophomore Natalie Trzeciak sits, perched on the edge of her seat, her hands drumming an impossible rhythm. She can feel her hands getting clammy. She hates that. It makes the bow harder to hold and it makes her posture poorer.

Her name is called and she stands, alone, and marches onto the stage with a determination she can hardly hold. Sitting down, she stares ahead into the crowd and takes a deep breath.

She closes her eyes.

One second.

Two second.


And she fills the silence with the music that she is more familiar with than the beat of her own heart.

As she plays, she is reminded that generations of musicians from her father’s side are standing behind her, aiding her every note.

Ten years of endless practice have engraved the movement of her bow into her memory so her hands flawlessly execute every intentional command.

She thinks of the nine years, and counting, that she played for McHenry County Youth Orchestras and knows that her pitch is near perfect.

Music is in her blood. She was born with a destiny written in the same black ink as the notes of her concierto.

Trzeciak closes her eyes and does not open them until the song is over. It is easier for her to simply listen to the music and play with the confidence that comes with repeating the same notes over and over again in countless hours of practice.

When it’s over, she stands, surrounded by the applause that she hopes to hear for the rest of her life.

Knowing that a career in music can sometimes become fruitless labor, Trzeciak continues to wholeheartedly express herself through her violin.

“I am fully prepared to be broke, but at least I’ll be happy with it,” said Trzeciak.