Raphael Lausa continues music education at Elmhurst

Ashley Lucero, Staff Reporter

From the third grade, Raphael Lausa has kept his violin and his love for music close to his heart.

“My parents are the parents who believe little kids should listen [to classical music] because it’ll help them be smarter,” Lausa said.

 Unlike other violinists at his age, he wasn’t only interested in that instrument, but in music as a whole. In middle school, Lausa learned his second string instrument, the bass, for the jazz band. 

That started the beginning of his journey into the music world as a whole, along with meeting Maura Brown, Elk Grove High School’s orchestra director.

“He always stuck out to me as a leader as a freshman, even as an eighth-grader because I met him when he was playing bass and violin or something at Friendship. He always stuck out to me as someone who very much loved music, and who wasn’t ashamed to show that outwardly,” Brown said. 

Now at the end of his senior year, Lausa knows how to play all the string instruments as well as a few wind instruments including french horn, trumpet, and bassoon. The trumpet and the bassoon were learned in one of his music classes, Music Workshop.

 Lausa was even able to perform in the school musical this year with the trumpet. 

Brown, described it as astounding, with both Brown and Lausa describing the process of learning the instrument as very smooth, because of Lausa’s high skill in music.

Another achievement Lausa made in his senior year was creating a new music group, called the Lunch Buddies, created so that Lausa could learn to conduct for his Music Education. It has now become a student-run club, with the conductors and musicians all being current students in orchestra, pieces picked by them as well. 

He describes it as a “Music Educator Prep” little orchestra.

 It is one thing to play music, but another to teach music to others. “Whenever I get these questions in interviews and panels, I’m always like, I love the community aspect of this, especially high school orchestra,” Lausa said. “In high school orchestra, you’re like with these guys for four years and you’re becoming your person this point, and I feel like, the people in orchestra have helped me a lot and we have our own community.” 

Lausa has been involved in many organizations both in and out of school, many being audition-based, while also taking rigorous classes such as AP Physical Education and Calculus 3. He was also a part of Elk Grove’s swimming team. 

Lausa knew how important it was to keep up a consistent work ethic in all groups.

 “When I was doing sports still, I would lose a lot of sleep,” Lausa said. “I had to prepare for college auditions, so I prioritized that over other things so I would stay up late to practice.”

 He submitted his music auditions to many universities and decided on Elmhurst University. 

“He’s getting ready for a music ed major and he started up a small group orchestra, and he’s learning to conduct,” Brown said. “He’s doing the things you really need to do to be a music teacher, so I think he’s well on his way.”