Cherubs make music for practice and fun

Anastasia Dalianis finds time between lectures to practice her cello. Photo by Paige Fishman.

Anastasia Dalianis finds time between lectures to practice her cello. Photo by Paige Fishman.

Some cherubs who play musical instruments throughout the year couldn’t part with their passions, finding ways to practice even when loaded with work and surrounded by friends.

For Maggie Olson, 17 instruments were a lot to leave at home for five weeks. She didn’t want to part with her guitar, her drums or her mandolin, and there wasn’t even room on her flight from Tennessee for her ukulele.

Luckily for her, Danika Lyle had room. She lent Olson the ukulele she brought from California.

“I was super excited when I found out that Dani brought hers,” Olson said. “I’ve been playing for about four years. I took it from her and it’s still in my room.”

Olson plays the ukulele for one reason — others’ enjoyment.

“Playing the ukulele brings a lot of good vibes to people because the ukulele is such a chill, happy instrument,” she said. “When you can play it for other people, everyone’s really happy and smiling and singing.”


On the other hand, Anastasia Dalianis was able to drive with her cello from her home in Park Ridge, Illinois, to Evanston so she could practice.

“I have to make my fine arts supplement for college in the fall,” Dalianis said. “I also have seating auditions for orchestra, so I have to learn a 26-page symphony.”

Dalianis said that although the cherub schedule was too rigorous for meaningful practice time during the week, there was enough time on the weekends to spend several hours maintaining her skill level.

Sayali Amin practices the flute in her dorm room for personal satisfaction and for stress release, she said.

“Sometimes, while writing the trend story, I was kind of stressed, and afterwards I took a break to play the flute,” Amin said. “It helps clear my mind, and it’s just something I go back to, even during the school year.”

Because she only practiced for fun and to de-stress, Amin, who is a flutist in her school marching band, concert band and orchestra, wasn’t as dedicated to a structured practice schedule.

Although Amin and Dalianis enjoy practicing in private, they eventually decided to play for their fellow cherubs, as Olson often does.

“I’ve had people knock on my door and say ‘Oh you’re really good’ and at first I felt kind of self-conscious because you can hear it out of the room,” Amin said. “I realized that people here are encouraging and make me feel more comfortable when playing now.”