Ariana O’Connell – 2nd Prize 2019
Ariana O’Connell, 16, is currently a junior at Barrington High School. She has studied with Taka Matsunaga since 2013 and with Betty-Haag Kuhnke since 2007. In 2019, Ariana served as assistant concertmaster of the ILMEA All-State Honors Orchestra 2019 and concertmaster in 2018. Ariana has been a member of Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra’s Symphony Orchestra since 2015, and has served as co-concertmaster and co-2nd violin principal since 2018. In 2017, she received honorable mention in the Chinese Fine Arts Society Competition, and in 2019, honorable mention in the DePaul Concerto Festival. She regularly performs for churches and nursing homes. In addition to violin, Ariana also enjoys playing the piano, varsity badminton, and spending time with friends.