Student achiever: Amanda Joy Dinsmore ("I like to be called A. J."), 13.
School: Mount View Middle School.
Special achievement: In the summers of 1998 and 1999, she was selected to play double bass in the All-National Disney Orchestra. She also plays in the University of Maryland, Baltimore County orchestra.
What she says about it: "I was so excited when I saw the big envelope from Disney in the mail, and I opened it and it said, 'Congratulations.' I couldn't believe I made it, and I screamed. I had applied by sending in a tape of my music. My parents acted more excited than I did until two days before the flight. The first year we played in Chicago and the next year in New York. Disney is not having the orchestra this year."
How she developed as a musician: "My parents are very musical. Dad plays trumpet and sings, and Mom sings and plays the piano, and my brother plays clarinet. I got a lot of help from my parents. I started playing in the third grade when I was the only one tall enough to sit on a big stool and play double bass. I fell in love with the instrument and told Mom, 'I want to play the double bass.'"
In the future: "I don't want music to be my career, but I am going to use it as a source of income and fun throughout my life."