Spring Branch ISD Featured News

SBISD December Fine Arts Spotlight: Lucy Hamilton


“Lucy’s success and contributions to the fine arts are a result of her discipline and commitment to excellence,” said Spring Branch Academic Institute (SBAI) Director Patricia Kassir.

Lucy is an impressive young woman who excels in both the fine arts and the most rigorous academics. I’m grateful to the SBAI and Stratford High teachers who have shaped her over the years. Everyone at SBAI is so proud of Lucy!”

Which fine arts activities are you in and how long have you participated? 

At Stratford High, I am involved in orchestra, choir, and Stratford Playhouse as part of the pit orchestra. I have been playing violin since I was five and have been involved in school orchestra since sixth grade. I have been involved in school choir since sixth grade as well and started singing in the Stratford Choir my sophomore year. Throughout high school, I have played in the pit orchestra for four musicals and have served as either the concertmaster or co-concertmaster for three of those shows!

What inspired you to join fine arts activities at SBAI/Stratford High School? 

Music has always been such a big part of my life, and I wanted to be able to share my passions with SBAI and Stratford America. As I have been in high school, I have gotten even more involved in fine arts because all of the teachers in the department are so encouraging. Fine arts have allowed me to connect with students in and throughout Stratford, and has made me feel like I have a home.

What skills have you acquired through fine arts that will help you in the future?

Fine arts is so unique because you get the opportunity to work with such a large team to create something truly special. It has taught me how to work with a team, and to be a leader when necessary. It's also been such a great reminder that everyone has different strengths, and the more we lean into that, the better we can work together! 

What Core Characteristic(s) have you developed most by being part of your fine arts activities? 

Being a part of fine arts at Stratford has allowed me to develop the Core Characteristics of Communicator & Collaborator and Resourceful Problem-solver. Fine arts require being able to express the things you want to do with your music, and how you think you can work better as a team. After we have a concert in choir or orchestra, our class usually listens to a recording of our performance, and each person shares things they think we did well on and things we could still improve. I think this is a great example of how we apply these characteristics in class.

How have your fine arts instructors helped you or inspired you? 

My fine arts instructors have inspired me by sharing their love for music. One piece that genuinely changed my life is one Ms. Baker picked out for our choir to sing this year: Flight by Craig Carnelia. When I took AP Music Theory, my teacher Mr. Altamirano also showed me new pieces all the time, from symphonies to classical guitar pieces. It's so much fun to get to learn about new music through my fine arts classes and activities. 

What are some of your favorite memories from your time participating in fine arts activities? 

My absolute favorite memory was getting to conduct my choir in the The Star-Spangled Banner at our Homecoming game this year. My choir teacher, Ms. Baker also went to Stratford for High School. When she was senior, her teacher let her conduct the national anthem at a football game, so it was super special for her to share that experience with me.

What would say to students thinking about joining fine arts activities?

Go for it! You will learn so much about music and life and will find such an amazing community of peers and teachers. Your teachers won't expect perfection, they'll expect passion, and if you have passion for fine arts then you will excel!

What are your post-high school plans? 

I am currently applying to college for a Bachelor of Music in violin performance and composition. I would love to pursue either degree and am excited to see where I end up! Being in SBAI has really encouraged me to continue challenging myself academically even though I have known for a long time that I have wanted to pursue music, which has opened so many doors for me in my college search. Although I’m only applying to get a degree in music, I want to continue taking challenging classes in other subjects so that I can have the most opportunities possible.

What are you excited for about your remaining time at SBAI/Stratford High School?

I am excited to keep sharing the things I have learned over the past four years (and beyond) with others! This semester I have been mentoring elementary students at Thornwood/SBAI which has been so much fun. Also, even though they're in a few months, I am looking forward to my last orchestra Solo and Ensemble competition, and I can't wait to sing a senior solo at the choir pop show!

SBISD’s Fine Arts programming provides students opportunities to participate in theater, band, orchestra, choir, dance, art and much more. Performing and fine arts provide an important means of communication where thoughts, creativity and expression can be directed to ennoble, uplift, inspire and build.

For questions regarding SBISD Fine Arts, contact SBISD’s Director of Fine Arts or the art instructor at your school.