This my common app essay for option #1
Evaluate a significant experience, achievement, risk you have taken, or ethical dilemma you have faced and its impact on you
I would appreciate any constructive criticism. Thanks!
One of the most powerful experiences I have had is playing the viola in the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra (WYSO). Each WYSO rehearsal was like a relaxing respite from ordinary life, though more important was what it taught me. For me, being part of the orchestra revealed a type of intimate teamwork I had not previously discovered, my true interest in music and a place where the reward for hard work was the release of emotion in the form of musical beauty.
When I joined WYSO, my idea of teamwork changed dramatically. For an orchestra to function, every musician must act as part of one entity. Every breath is collaboration and every note is an infinitesimal piece of a grand portrait. A hundred bows moving in synchronized rhythm is amazing to watch and even more amazing to be a part of. In addition, the feeling that you are so connected to everyone around you by such beautiful music is uplifting and inspirational. I still remember my first year in WYSO as the music for our first concert was slowly being honed to perfection. Every time we rehearsed the pieces, the orchestra became a little more united until the day of the concert when we finally moved as one. It was that experience which first opened my eyes to the true power of teamwork and I knew then that I would continue to play in WYSO.
Music has been a part of my life since I began to play the viola when I was ten years old, but it is because of playing in WYSO that music truly became a major part of who I am. Never before had I played in a full symphony orchestra or any large group so being in WYSO introduced me to a whole other dimension of playing music I had never experienced before. The rich sound and feel of the orchestra was something I was instantly addicted to and soon enough, going to Saturday morning rehearsals became the highlight of my week. Another way WYSO strengthened my musical interests was by giving me a scholarship that made taking private music lessons possible for me. This invaluable gift is one of the main reasons that I have been able to progress my musical education as far as I have. It was all of this that took me from a point where music was a small hobby to the devoted listener and musician I am now.
Today it is hard for me to imagine where I would be today if I had never been a part of WYSO. Over the years, WYSO has connected me to many new friends, mentors and opportunities to express myself through musical art. The enriching effect of WYSO on my life is immeasurable and it has shaped my overall perspective. The experience I have had in WYSO not only redefined my idea of teamwork and love of music, but also who I am.