By: Milani Jones
Set the tempo. Senior Cameron White is a student of the Merit School of Music Tuition Free Conservatory. White started her music career in first grade in the Bridges Program at Beasley Academic Center located on Chicago’s south side. White joined the program because it was a cool program to participate in. For 125 years, the school has worked to enhance music education as a need-based institution hosting nearly has 5,000 students in the Chicago area. The Merit School of Music has a partnership with Chicago Public Schools. As a student at Merit, she works with the highest orchestra offered at her music school.
“I practice typically in the morning before school in an empty classroom or in the band room. I also practice at home after school for about 30 minutes to two hours. On Friday, I have practice at the Merit School for an hour. Then on Saturday, I have an eight hour orchestra session,” White said.
At the Merit School, White plays the violin and the viola. She uses those instruments to express herself through her music. She loves tango music and loves playing the music of her favorite composers: Claude Debussy, Hector Berlioz, Camille Saint-Saens, Giovanni Battista Viotti, Johannes Brahms, and Antonín Dvoràk. At Merit, she teaches young African American boys and girls how to play instruments, teaches that there different notes on each line, and every notes represents a letter and every letter represents a string on the instrument.
“I teach to young African-American children because they are under respected in the music world. I love that everyone has one common thing; we all play an instrument. So we all relate with one another in some way, no matter where we come from,” White said.
While White pursues her musical dreams outside of De, she is also a member of National Honor Society, Robotics Club, French Club, Creative Writing Club, R.E.A.C.H Club, and Yearbook Club.
“Everything that I do and participate in serves a purpose,” White said.