The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

Rachel George: Concertmaster and Master of Tennis

Rachel George, sophomore, getting down to hit the ball.

Many people are able to uncover their true calling from a young age. For sophomore, concertmaster and varsity tennis player Rachel George, this holds true. With time, patience and lessons, George has been able to not only pick up several extracurriculars, but also excel at them in several ways. 

George started playing violin when she was three years old, just after learning that a preschool friend of hers was also picking up the same hobby. George now has private lessons once a week for the past eight years and is so invested in the violin that she no longer feels like it’s an extracurricular, but a daily part of her life. With her experience, she has quickly risen up the ranks of the Niles West orchestra and became the first chair, which is the person who leads the group when playing.

It can be quite uncomfortable to have to give instructions to upperclassmen, but as a concertmaster, it’s essential. George hopes to get to know everyone better in the orchestra because it not only makes her happy, but it also allows people to feel comfortable while she gives constructive criticism. 

Of course, like any good student, George has also continued to learn, grow and help her community.

She has become more mature, more of a leader, more observant, more accountable. Since Rachel has joined her freshman year, she has been an amazing asset to our orchestra program. She has gone from the back of the first violins to first chair, Concertmaster. She feels more comfortable in the class and her true self shines through,” Orchestra Instructor Natalie Frakes said.

What started as a rebellious decision to pick a solitary sport instead of a group one like soccer, as per her father’s request, George was the only freshman on Girls Varsity Tennis in last year’s season. Since being introduced to the sport by her sister in elementary school, George has stayed with it and sees it as one of her funnest hobbies.

George has been commended for her winning spirit on and off the court.

“First, I believe Rachel excels at tennis because she possesses a combination of determination, discipline, and a strong work ethic. She is also committed to training and improving her skills. Second, she has fun on the court.  Tennis is a great game! It is important to laugh and enjoy playing while continuing to work hard.  Our motto for this season was “Work Hard!  Play Hard!”  This helped contribute to her success both on and off the tennis court,” tennis coach and guidance counselor Ben Grais said.  

George has encouraged her peers and incoming students to join as many extracurriculars as they can because they just might change their lives too.

“Some advice I would give to people who want to join extracurriculars is that they should just do it. There’s a really close community that comes with joining a sport or the fine arts department, so it’s really great to have those connections in high school,” George said. 

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