Yeanwoo Park, Violet Henderson and Rebeca Rocha Awarded 2023 Los Alamos Symphony Scholarships

Yeanwoo Park/Courtesy photo

Violet Henderson/Courtesy photo

Rebeca Rocha/Courtesy photo

Los Alamos Symphony Orchestra

The Los Alamos Symphony Orchestra awarded three $500 scholarships to Los Alamos High School Seniors in 2023. These scholarships are awarded to one or more high school seniors who have demonstrated exceptional talent and interest in music. The student must attend Los Alamos High School or live in Los Alamos County. The scholarship is intended to encourage the recipients to continue their musical activities, regardless of whether they pursue music as a career in the future.

Yeanwoo Park was awarded the Rosemary O’Connor Scholarship. Yeanwoo plays cello and piano and has also become familiar with many other instruments. Yeanwoo played principal cello of the High School division Honors Orchestra as a freshman, made All-State for four years, and played Principal Cello in Santa Fe Youth Symphony Orchestra. With his high school orchestra, he had the opportunity to serve as conductor for one piece, preparing the orchestra during several rehearsals and conducting at the concert. He also taught piano and cello weekly to seven students. Yeanwoo plans to major in physics at Johns Hopkins University and also to study music composition at the associated Peabody Institute of Music. In his essay, Yeanwoo writes, “Regardless of my choice of career, I plan to always center my passion on music. Whether through participation in orchestral groups, solo performance, or composition and conducting studies, I will look to always keep music alive in all the things I do. It is my best manner of expression.”

Violet Henderson was awarded the Margaret ‘Meg’ Neher Scholarship. Violet has played viola for three years and played violin for 10 preceding years, and also plays trombone, piano, and guitar. During her junior and senior years, she was Principal Violist for the Los Alamos High School Symphonic Strings, the high school’s audition-only top orchestra. Violet was the Assistant Principal Violist of the All-State Symphonic Orchestra in 2023 and Principal Violist of the Santa Fe Youth Symphony. She taught private violin lessons to a 4th grade student during 2020. Violet plans to major in philosophy, political science, or economics at Claremont McKenna College and to minor in viola performance at one of the Claremont Consortium colleges, Pomona. In her essay, Violet writes, “Music by nature fosters collaboration. Throughout history, it has been a form of expression and thus relation to others. The chills I get playing in a symphony or listening to live music are the closest thing I think there is to magic in this world.”

Rebeca Rocha was awarded the Jane Gerheart Scholarship. After starting to play clarinet in 4th grade, Rebeca was first chair throughout middle school, first chair in high school Wind Symphony sophomore, junior, and senior years, and first chair in the Honor Band every year since 8th grade. She participated in the Los Alamos Middle School Jazz Band, Santa Fe Youth Symphony Orchestra, New Mexico All State, and NMMEA Solo and Ensemble Contest. Since September 2022 Rebeca has taught private clarinet lessons to beginning students. Rebeca plans to major in mechanical engineering at Texas A&M University and also to continue her participation in music ensembles. In her essay, Rebeca writes, “Playing the clarinet, as much as I love it, has not always been simple. There have been arpeggios that I would repeat endlessly, without any progress. There has been a nagging sense that my tone was just not quite right, though I could not for the life of me find the solution. There have been combinations of reeds and mouthpieces that have been difficult to adjust to and lowered my confidence. Still, I kept playing. Music has taught me a determination to get something right, no matter how much time or effort it took. It has taught me the value of commitment, patience, and steady practice. More than that, it has taught me how to effectively work in a team, how to recognize the importance of every role, even if it isn’t my own.”

In addition to the music scholarships, in 2023 LASO gave three $50 awards to Los Alamos County District Science Fair winners, Linus Plohr, Bronze Shrumn and Sarah Haaser.

Members of the public interested in helping fund the LASO Scholarships may send a check, payable to LASO, to PO Box 613, Los Alamos, NM 87544. You may also donate via PayPal or credit card at the web site:

The Los Alamos Symphony is always looking for new members and players—if you are interested, please contact us at: