Music is defined as an art of sound in time that expresses ideas and emotions in significant forms through the elements of rhythm, melody, harmony, and color. Music is defined as me. At first music was just something to do after school. It took that first pluck, that first stroke of my bow to the strings of my violin to realize that I have found myself. I found music to be a way to express myself. When I perform, I escape into the music to only realize that I was playing for an audience applause, and then I snap back into reality. I started my passion kind of late compared to my fellow musicians. I was in the fifth grade at a catholic school in West Philadelphia called St. Francis de Sales playing for Tune Up, Philly (currently Play On, Philly!). I was your typical 11 year old girl who was “miss-know-it-all”. I never would had thought that the violin would change my life forever. After a year of playing with Play On, Philly!,  I got accepted into Musicopia. In the summer of 2013, I was selectively chosen on a full scholarship to attend Philadelphia International Music Festival (PIMF). There I met kids from all ages, from all around the world to study music and share the same dreams that I have. After the summer camp, my private violin teacher had said that I should audition for Sinfonia Players. I always dreamt of performing for Sinfonia Players under the instruction of Maestro Gary White. I didn’t get on at my first try, but that did not stop me from waiting my dream to come true. So after months and months of practicing and a second audition, I finally received the news that would change my music career….I got into Sinfonia Players. I have been on Cloud 9 ever since, and do not attend to come down anytime soon.

Who am I? I am Raven Marcia Burckhalter.

I couldn’t picture my life without music. Looking back at my career, I couldn’t have done anything without the support and love from the following angels in my life: Stanford Thompson, Rebecca Harris, Naomi Gonzales; Daniella Pearson, Debbi Singer; Maestro Gary White, Danielle Garret; Maddie and Sandy Marcucci; Dr. Jack Carr, Jeremy Rosa, Joanna Wiesczyzk; Daniel Han; Sr. Mary, Sr. Jane, Sr. Constance, Sr. Jeanette all from IHM; and my family Teresa, Taylor, Kendall Burckhalter, and my guardian angel, my mom Vonya Burckhalter.

I am a sophomore at String Theory for the Performing Arts High School. I study privately with Daniel Han of the Philadelphia Orchestra. I am currently the concertmaster, and chamber leader for my school’s orchestra. I am also concertmaster for Sinfonia Players, and second violinist for Sinfonia Chamber. I have performed at numerous venues all around the city of Philadelphia such as the Kimmel Center under the baton of Sir. Simon Rattle, the First Presbyterian Church in the Germantown area of Philadelphia, Bryn Mawr College, Rittenhouse Square area, Waverly Heights Resident Services, West Catholic High School, and St. Francis de Sales to name a few. When I am not practicing or performing, I enjoy shopping and hanging out with my friends, finding new beauty and fashion tips to enhance my creative side, putting on musical productions, traveling, and volunteering. I also ran track and field for my school, and became class representative for my grade this year.