Cameron Claudio, a fourth grade student at Montgomery Elementary School, recently qualified for the All-County Music Festival playing violin although her school district has no string orchestra program. She was selected as one of the top musicians in grades four-six in Orange County after an audition back in February.
Since the age of five, Claudio has practiced violin with her private teacher Vicki Botta. She is proud of Cameron because she had to play an especially difficult audition piece to get in.
“It required shifting into second and third positions and playing notes that had sharps and flats that didn’t appear in the key signature,” Botta said.
Cameron practiced countless hours to audition for All-County. Her band teacher let her sign up for the audition at Botta’s request. When Botta suggested that Cameron audition for second violin because the piece was much easier and she wanted her to have a good first experience auditioning against fifth and sixth grade students, she would not have it. She chose to rise to the occasion.
“Miss Vicki, I don’t want to take the easier way, I want a challenge!,” Cameron said.
Cameron plays violin at Goodwill Church and at the Hudson Valley Conservatory in Walden. She even played violin at her and her sister Camille’s lemonade stand to raise money for a family friend who was in a car accident. This was very helpful, as the family friend could not work or support his family for a time due to surgeries. Cameron also helped raise money for NephCure Kidney International to help a friend’s son who suffers from Nephrotic Syndrome.
Cameron is a talented violinist, but her music prowess does not stop there. She also plays tuba in her school band, so she could be a part of the only kind of instrumental ensemble offered at Valley Central. Those around her are proud of all her accomplishments.
“Cameron gives her all, whether she is playing her violin, her tuba or softball,” Botta said.
Cameron is scheduled to perform with the top musicians in her age group from Orange County on Friday, May 1 and Saturday, May 2 at Pine Bush High School. Concerts are slated to begin at 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. both days.