by LYDIA COBB | photos by Zeena Gregg Photography

Strings of Passion

Lydia Panton, a PQ native and senior at Mt. Carmel High School, grew up loving music. She plays violin in the school’s orchestra, performing in the productions of Fiddler on the Roof and Legally Blonde. “Playing violin has been a major aspect of my life and has developed into one of my greatest passions,” reflected Lydia. Also involved in youth orchestra, this young violinist has performed in several productions of The Nutcracker, was onstage at Walt Disney Concert Hall, and represented the youth orchestra by performing Sibelius Symphony No. 2 in San Diego Symphony’s Best and Brightest showcase. She also sings and plays violin in her Peñasquitos Lutheran Church. “The most rewarding aspect of performing is finding ways to convey the emotion of a piece,” she added.


Violin is a challenge, like her favorite classes: AP Calculus and Biology. As she applies for college (UW Madison, St. Olaf College, Vanderbilt, and University of Michigan) she plans to double major in music education and biology. “I know it seems counterintuitive to choose two completely different fields,” shared Lydia, “but I genuinely have a passion for both music and biology.” Her older brother Louis is a trombonist in Purdue University’s All-American Marching Band, where he’s pursuing a degree in computer science. She cherishes when they played together in the school’s orchestra. Her parents have always supported their interests and she added, “I’m grateful for the values they’ve instilled in me.”

“The most rewarding aspect of performing is finding ways to convey the emotion of a piece.”

The violin came to her at age six. “I owned a copy of the movie Barbie of Swan Lake that happened to have a segment on the musicians who played the movie score,” revealed Lydia, who persuaded her parents for lessons. A violinist now for 10 years, she added vocal lessons four years ago. Lydia mentioned, “My love for music has largely been instilled in me by my violin teacher, Seth Malmstrom, and my vocal teacher, Marie Weir. They have mentored me as I’ve grown up and I’m very thankful for their roles in my life.”

She misses her friend, Nicole, who moved away last year, yet they remain close. Senior years are filled with forward journeys. “Learning violin has taught me the importance of discipline and perseverance in all my endeavors,” she added. Lydia is preparing for her future opportunities as she rosins up her bow.

Name: Lydia Panton (17)
School: Mt. Carmel High School
Grade: 12
Parents: Lynn and Bill Panton
Brother: Louis Panton (19)
Favorite Places in 92129: Peñasquitos Lutheran Church, Ridgewood Neighborhood Park, Los Peñasquitos Canyon Trails