BHS junior Runion joins All-State Orchestra for third straight year


Kira Suerth

Junior Millie Runion is one of three BHS students selected to participate in either All-State Orchestra or Band.

Emily Simmons, Staff Writer

Bearden junior Millie Runion will attend All-State Orchestra, an elite music group containing musicians from across Tennessee, for the third straight year.

“What really inspired me to go and audition the first year was my brother made fun of me a lot,” Runion said. “He would joke around and say ‘Oh, you can’t do it’ or ‘You can’t make it,’ so I was like ‘No, I am gonna do it,’ and I did.”

Runion, who has been playing violin since the sixth grade, was inspired to begin playing when a teacher brought instruments to class and showed them to the students in the fifth grade.

“I saw the violin, and it was really pretty and cool; also, it honestly looked really convenient to play because it was small,” Runion said. “I looked up videos on YouTube online and just really had this desire to play.”

Added orchestra director Mrs. Cynthia Wright: “[Runion] is a very great leader, and she is really humble about her abilities, even though she is definitely one of my more advanced [musicians]. She relates really well with all the students because she is a good leader, but she is really soft spoken so it makes it really easy for the other students to talk to her and listen to her.”

Runion not only is a part of the Bearden orchestra, but she is a member of Key Club and chamber orchestra.  Outside of school, Runion enjoys kayaking, playing violin in duets and quartets, and is a member of the Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestra with fellow All-State musician Salina Fang.

“I definitely plan to audition again next year, and [participating in] senior year All-State and just getting to to see what type of music I can learn and work on some concertos,” Runion said.

Added Mrs. Wright: “[Runion] is extremely determined about her musicianship, and she practices very intentionally on her instrument.”

Runion has plans to continue with her music throughout high school and into college.

“Music is definitely something I truly want to do, I may even want to become a college music professor later in life,” Runion said.

Altogether, including Runion, three Bearden students have been selected to attend All-State music groups. Runion and Fang will participate in All-State Orchestra and Samantha Raymond will attend All-State Band this school year.