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Candia's Grant reveling in Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra

CANDIA — After years of playing concerts throughout New England, senior Alethea Grant is preparing for her last series of shows playing the harp as a high school student. As a member of the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, Grant said that while she is sad her time with the orchestra is ending, she is still having a lot of fun.

"There are a lot of seniors in the orchestra, and we all know this is our last year, so we are having a lot of fun playing and sharing our memories," Grant said.

Grant, who says she tries to practice two hours a day on her concert quality harp, said she will now have to decide how she wants to approach her secondary education.

"I am not sure if I want to go to a traditional school and study physical therapy, or go to a conservatory like Juilliard or Carnegie Mellon. I guess it depends on the scholarship offers I get," Grant said.

She added that even if she goes to a traditional four-year college, the harp would still be a part of her life.

"Even if I go to a traditional college, I can always go back to grad school and study music," she said.

Grant said even if a career as a professional classical musician doesn't work out, she still plans on playing the harp.

"If I end up becoming a physical therapist, that would let me have the full-time job I need while giving me the freedom to keep playing the harp on the weekends," Grant said.

Grant, who is home schooled, said her parents have been huge influences on her life.

Exposed to music at a young age by her parents, she said that her father, Bill, while a chemist by trade, is a musician at heart, capable of playing everything from the bagpipes to the cello.

Grant said the harp has given her a variety of interesting experiences, like playing for the Consulate General of Italy at the Boston Public Library.

Now, with only her senior year left, Grant will have a series of tough decisions to make regarding her future.

No matter what happens in her life, Grant said the harp would be a part of it.

"I love the harp," she said.

Grant will be playing on Oct. 13 at the Symphony Hall in Boston with the rest of the BYSO, and again on Jan. 19 at the Sanders Theatre at Harvard University.


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