School: Fourth-grader at Mechanicsville Elementary School.Honored for:...


School: Fourth-grader at Mechanicsville Elementary School.

Honored for: A dedication to playing the violin. Thursday, he will play at the governor's mansion along with other students in the Westminster Youth Orchestra.

Damon was first inspired to play a stringed instrument when he was 3 years old, Mrs. Greene said. He spotted a photograph of a child playing a cello in Baltimore's Child magazine, and asked her to cut it out and hang it on the refrigerator.

"It's just something he's always been fascinated with," Mrs. Greene said. She enrolled him in preschool music programs at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore and let him take violin lessons when he was in second grade, after she was sure he would be committed.

"I wanted him to realize what practice was. I associated it with homework. It did not dissuade him at all," she said.

Goals: "I have a pretty good idea I want to work with computers." He will consider a career as a musician, and likes to play soccer, basketball and baseball.

Comments: Playing the violin is "hard at first, because you don't know how you sound. But after a while it starts to sound nice. So all you have to do is stick with it."

He also would like to learn to play the viola, cello and harp, he said.

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