Annie Wu, 15, who began playing flute at age 8, is competing this week at the National Flute Association's High School Soloist Competition being held in Charlotte, N.C. The NFA holds a national prescreening of competitors, who send in tapes of a set repertoire, and chooses eight finalists. This year there are two each from New York, Boston and Texas, one from Chicago and Wu from California.
At age 12, Wu won the national first prize in the Music Teacher's National Association Woodwind Competition, junior division. She debuted at Carnegie Hall debut at age 12 as a winner of the American Fine Arts Festival 2008 Competition and returned last October as the first-place winner of the Alexander and Buono International Flute Competition. Last year, she also won the International Independent Music Woodwinds Competition "Individualis." She is in the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra and studies flute with Isabelle Chapuis, and is entering her sophomore year at Foothill High School.
8-year-old eager to climb any mountain
Kipling Van Horn, 8, beat the heat July 31 by going mountaineering on Mount Shasta's notorious Avalanche Gulch Route. This was his third attempt at summiting the 14,162-foot mountain, since 2009. Mount Shasta is the second highest volcano of the Cascade Range; only Mount Rainier, at 14,414 feet, is higher. Kip ascended up the route to 12,800 feet to a peak above the Red Banks, reported his father Kimothy, who accompanied him.
"Just after stopping for a few minutes to re-fuel and re-hydrate, high winds and a whiteout came in over the ridge which prevented continuing further on to the summit," said Kimothy Van Horn.
Kip recently completed the second grade at Vintage Hills Elementary School. He also enjoys art and is a member of Cub Scout Pack 938.
Nationals held at Campo di Bocce
Local bocce ball team Forza Italia competed at the U.S. Nationals recently held at Campo di Bocce in Livermore, near Ruby Hill. Teams from across the United States competed, and the team from Detroit won first place so will represent the USA in the world championships next year. Forza Italia team members are (l-r) Bario Bernardi of Pleasanton, Phil Ferrari of Chicago, Michele Nicosia of Los Gatos, and Joey Bernardi of Pleasanton.
Eagle Scout Tarunraj Amuthan
Tarunraj Amuthan of Boy Scout Troop 948 has completed his Eagle Scout project of a Radio Controlled Car Track at the Pleasanton BMX Park for Craig Higgins, Assistant Director of Operations for the city of Pleasanton. Tarunraj designed the track and created a project plan, then found a team of volunteers to build it. His goal was to attract attention to Pleasanton and to give enthusiasts a legal way to pursue their hobby.
Tarunraj, the son of Saro and Amuthan, started Scouts in the third grade as a Bear Cub in Pack 934 at Mohr Elementary. After the highest award of the Award of Light he advanced through the ranks by earning merit badges, doing community service, going to summer camp, taking leadership roles as Troop Librarian, Patrol Leader, Assistant Patrol Leader, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, Senior Patrol Leader and Troop Guide, and going on the Philemon Adventure hike in New Mexico.
He is a junior at Amador Valley High School, where he is an honor students and plays clarinet in the school band. He is planning to study bio tech in college.