Lily Alexandra Mell is 18 years old and has been playing violin since the age of four. She recently graduated, but was homeschooled her entire young life, taking first Community College classes and later courses at the University of Pennsylvania in high school. Accepted into the Ithaca College School of Music with a good deal of scholarships and grants, she plans to study violin performance and hopes to pick up a second major in a non-musical subject, likely psychology or creative writing - both other fortes of hers. She currently studies privately with Davyd Booth of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and will be starting studies with Susan Waterbury in the fall. In the 2016-2017 season, Lily was the Principal Second Violin in the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra (PYO), and was one of two recipients of the organization’s coveted Helen T. Carp Distinguished Service Award, presented at PYO’s spring concert. She also worked closely as an intern with the first violin section of PYO’s Philadelphia Region Youth String Music (PRYSM) Orchestra, helping to coach and support the young violinists throughout their 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 seasons. This is her fifth and final year in the PYO organization.
Previously, she has been second violin in the PYO String Quartet, as well as Associate Concertmaster in the Trowbridge Chamber Orchestra at Settlement Music School. In the summer of 2016, she was a top violinist in the high school division of the Brevard Music Festival, and will be returning there this June. Before high school, she was a high-ranking member in a series of student orchestras, and was concertmaster of the Musicopia String Orchestra for multiple years. She has participated in several chamber music ensembles at Settlement, Temple Prep, and the Philadelphia International Music Festival, which she attended six summers in a row, winning the Bach Double Competition twice.
Although Lily enjoys all different types of playing, there is nothing she loves more than playing in a large symphony orchestra - the way the music fits together, the way it feels to be swept up in sound. She particularly enjoys being in leadership roles, but is satisfied just to be a piece of a larger picture - just so long as she can still be in the middle of the energy. It is one of her biggest aspirations to be a member of a major symphony orchestra so that she can keep doing what she loves for as long as she wishes.