Wamogo Regional High School
Clarinet; band; Connecticut Music Educators Association; All-State Music Festival; All-Berkshire League Music Festival; Tri-Music Honor Society; music outreach program volunteer; scholar athlete award; museum guide; National Latin Honor Society; superintendent's award; Harvard Book Prize; University of Rochester Humanities/Social Science Award; excellence in English, world history, geometry, biology, algebra II.
What is your career aspiration? "I'm hoping to be able to go into a career in counseling and the field of education."
Have your life goals or outlook on life changed since Sept. 11? If so, how? "Merely that we've come to appreciate more the blessings of our daily lives and that we've had to continue with our lives in spite of the fears and uncertainties that have been presented."
What should adults know about teens today? "Technology has increased a great deal and increased the pace of teenagers' lives. Just like adults, teens have had to deal with a great deal of stress in terms of academics and social pressures."
What advice do you have for high school freshmen? "Remain committed to the interests that you have and treat your peers with compassion, respect and a sense of humor."
Do you have a hero? If so, who is it and why? "One person is my [now retired] music teacher, that I've gotten to know over the years, Mr. [Bruce] Haynes. He motivated me to excel musically and he's instilled in the band program a sense of pride and school spirit."
Close-up: Life in the bucolic community of Goshen has its merits. But for those like Sarah Arnold, the call of the city can come through loud and clear.
During her junior year, Sarah, who is clarinet section leader and concert mistress of Wamogo Regional's band, responded to a newspaper article about the music outreach program at Avery Heights nursing home in Hartford. Even though it would require about an hour's drive from her home, she decided to check out the program, which usually involves adult musicians.
"I felt privileged to be able to participate in it as a high school student, " she said. "I worked with patients in the dementia unit and found it really rewarding in terms of my personal growth and observing the reactions of the patients I played for."
Sometimes she played for small groups, but usually took her clarinet from room to room.
"I got to deal with individuals one on one. It was a lot better because you got to see what the response was," she said. "When I played Christmas selections, they seemed very responsive. It awakened musical memories that they really appreciated."
One man in his early 90s at first seemed to be using most of his energy to deal with his physical ailment. She learned that he was a professional musician before entering the nursing home.
"Later, he appreciated my visits and was able to share some of his own experiences," she said.
Sarah's strong sense of caring for others is noted by a school spokeswoman who adds that she "looks beyond herself to make the world a better place."
Visiting Avery Heights helped her decide to apply for early decision at Trinity College, attracted by the concept of the Learning Corridor and the way the college interacts with the Hartford community.
"There's greater access to the cultural and academic resources that haven't been abundant up to this point in my life," Sarah said. "I'm interested in business and it's going to be closer to the pulse of Connecticut in terms of education" as well as in politics and the arts, she said. "And I know there's a lot of musical opportunities I'll be able to attend, like at the Bushnell."
- ELINOR L. NEVILLE
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