Alexander Kwak ’23 performed as the principal cellist in the New Jersey All-State Concert on May 18 at Community Middle School (Plainsboro, NJ). Alex’s scores in the initial and secondary auditions were averaged, granting him the title of first chair cellist.

The numbered “chairs” of an orchestra are a ranking of players’ proficiency and skill; first chairs often serve as leaders of their section and play solos or more complex sheet music. Alex was also awarded first chair cello at the regional level when he performed with the All-South Jersey Middle School Orchestra in December.

Alex started his musical journey by playing violin from age 6 to 11. In the summer of 2016, he performed with an orchestra in Orvieto, Italy. At 12, he began learning cello. Alex performed with the Junior High All-South Jersey and All-State Orchestras last year and has also been an active member of the Philadelphia Young Artists Orchestra since September.