by JENNIFER FRAKES | photos by Zeena Gregg Photography

Violin Virtuoso

Jennifer Chen is not only a proud Rancho Peñasquitos resident and recent Westview High School graduate but also an accomplished violinist who happily shares her love for music with others. “When I was a freshman, I founded the Music Outreach Club. We began the Music Mentoring program at the Rancho Peñasquitos Library, as well as the Music Buddies program for special education students at Westview,” Jennifer explained. She and the other Music Outreach Club members have also hosted many concerts to showcase the students they have mentored and to raise money for charitable causes.

Over the years, Jennifer has earned many accolades for her musical talent. She received first place at the American Protégé International Concerto Competition and led orchestras as the Assistant Concertmaster of the Civic Youth Orchestra and Co-Concertmaster of the Idyllwild Arts Chamberfest Orchestra. According to Jennifer, her father drove her to Los Angeles every weekend for many years to study with professors at USC and UCLA. “He put so much dedication into helping me study with the best teachers. I now teach violin, and teaching and imbuing a love of music in my students is one of my most rewarding activities,” revealed Jennifer.

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When Jennifer is not playing violin, she can often be found programming, working on her computer, reading, or experimenting with new cooking recipes. “I love cooking! It all started when I’d help my mom cook lunch and dinner. I especially like making new foods that I’ve never made before – trying out foods of different cuisines or complicated desserts is always fun,” said Jennifer. During her time at Westview, Jennifer was also a member of the Speech & Debate club and JV tennis.

The future is extremely bright for this talented young woman. In addition to attending Columbia University as a computer science major, Jennifer is continuing her music studies by taking lessons at Juilliard and the Manhattan School of Music. She also participates in Columbia’s orchestra and various chamber groups throughout New York City. Jennifer hopes to unite her love for computer science and technology with her passion for music. “By developing computer programs that incorporate music and delving into the science of music, I hope to educate others on how music and science interact,” Jennifer shared. Wherever her career path takes her, Jennifer will surely share her talents and spread the joy of music with whomever she meets along the way.


Name: Jennifer Chen
Community: Rancho Peñasquitos
School: Columbia University
Year: Freshman
Family: Parents and brother (7)

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