by Daniel Choi, Maine East High School, Class of 2014
My fourth year has just begun and I am excited to complete another year as a Schuler Scholar. So many events and experiences have changed who I am in ways both big and small. A lot of these changes happened on exposures offered by Schuler. My class, the class of 2014 at Maine East, is offered three core-exposures throughout the year. We are also given the privilege of going on college visits, mega exposures to Canada, Louisiana, or New York, and a lot of different mini exposures. On average, I attend one or two exposures each month, which is a lot considering the resources Schuler invested to get me those opportunities.
One of the most memorable exposures for me was heading to Canada for a whole week, staying in towns that are built for theater, and being immersed in theater culture, watching two or three plays a day at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. Although it was tiring, the eye opening experiences were well worth it. I was with 14 other Scholars, watching The Three Musketeers in the morning and watching the musical Tommy at night. It was an incredible experience to see plays with a 300-year span of cultural difference in one day. Since then, I have become a lot more open-minded towards theater, and am excited when someone, whether from Schuler or not, asks if I want to go see a play at school or at a theater. My tastes have been expanded and I am quite hungry for more.
Just recently, my senior class attended Lake Forest Symphony’s Opening Gala Concert. Vladmir Kulenovic was a guest conductor for the orchestra, and they performed many renowned pieces, including Romeo and Juliet Overture, Rhapsody in Blue, Pelléas et Mélisande Suite, and Firebird Suite. Within a couple of hours, the senior class was exposed to many different pieces from all over the world and each Scholar had a favorite part in the concert. Personally, I have not heard that many successful productions of Rhapsody in Blue, but the rising lick of the clarinet in the beginning and pure energy from the piano throughout the music made that particular piece my favorite of the night. I am a musician and after the performance I was inspired to practice my instrument a lot more than I previously have been! One goal that came out of that exposure was for me to go to more music performances, so that I can listen to professional players and surround myself with live, quality music.