An AP Statistics textbook rests in his hands while a violin case sits at his side. He faces the difficulties of juggling his roles as a student, musician and an athlete, with academics and music dominating over his daily life. Admiring the skills of renowned virtuosos and desiring to one day achieve their successes, only one thing motivates Senior Alex Galvan: a challenge.
Senior Theodore Froelich, a close friend of Galvan for five years and a fellow member of his orchestra, describes him as the most dedicated person he knows.
“Violin gives him something to work at, something to set a goal for and something to strive to improve on,” Froelich said.
Galvan comes from a musical family; his great grandparents had a love for piano, his grandmother sang and performed ballet and his mother played the flute. Despite its vast presence in his early life, however, music did not come easily to Galvan.
He sees the violin as one of the most difficult instruments, but also as the most rewarding. The ability to take on and overcome the challenge makes the effort valuable to him.
“I still struggled, but I played constantly because it was always in my mind to get better,” Galvan said.
His brother, Hector Galvan, became a major inspiration and pushed him to become more and more involved as a musician. Galvan began private lessons in the second grade, when he was barely able to hold his instrument.
“Around fourth grade, I’d never knew what it was like to put time into something and actually have a want to get better,” Galvan said. “Throughout eighth grade, when I first started doing sports, I started to learn what it was like to actually put time and hard work to get something out.”
Countless hours of practice and correcting his mistakes over the years taught him to appreciate the value of improvement, an understanding he would not have without music. Galvan continues with this mindset, committing his time and effort to advance further.
“He would carry his violin around from class to class playing, like during his AP classes,” Froelich said. “He spends every waking minute either studying or playing violin.”
Although considering himself lazy as a child, his dedication for violin sparked a passion for achievement in other areas of his life, such as academics and athletics. After overcoming music, a large obstacle for him, he decided there were many more left for him to face.
“The reason why I do calculus and why I like to put myself through sports like wrestling is because of the challenge,” Galvan said. “I want to see if I can overcome a challenge.”
He plans to study business in college and strive for a future career in engineering in addition to becoming more experienced and playing in the Loudoun Symphony Orchestra. These goals drive him to continue to pursue his passions.
“If something is hard, but you have had a love for it at some point, stick to it,” Galvan said. “Don’t let that love go away. Try to always remember the reason why you started.”