Months of practice pay off for siblings


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The Community Music School is dedicated to recognizing the talents of young artists. Brennan and Alana Saenz exemplified that by winning the Sinfonia Division of the Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestras.

Two students of the university’s Community Music School won the Sinfonia Division of the Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestras.

Brennan and Alana Saenz, piano and violin-playing siblings, are 10 and 9 years old, respectively.

The opportunity to perform with the orchestra was a surprise for their mother, Diana Saenz, who expressed pride in her children for the accomplishment. 

Diana Saenz noted the talent and communicative ability of Jivka Duke, the interim director of CMS, who guided her children to achieve success.

The Saenz siblings worked hard for their accomplishments.

“They’ve also put in the work,” recalled Diana Saenz. “They have spent a lot of time practicing by themselves and together. I remember Jivka saying that hard work will pay off sooner or later.”

Diana Saenz credited the collaboration between CMS and Southeastern Symphony Orchestra.

“I also think the collaboration between CMS and the Southeastern Symphony Orchestra helped them a lot,” said Diana Saenz. “They had the opportunity to perform with the Southeastern Symphony Orchestra, which was an amazing experience for them.”

Duke has an additional reason to be proud of her students’ accomplishments and their opportunity to perform.

Duke said, “Both Alana and Brennan are very dedicated to their violin studies and their performances are always characterized by an exceptional level of musical maturity despite their young ages. Both of them are a joy to teach, and I can’t wait to start working towards their next musical endeavor.”

CMS hopes that Sanez siblings’ success will inspire other students to work hard.

“We have big hopes and dreams for our students including that successes such as this will inspire all of our students to strive for excellence in their music studies,” shared Duke. “It is our desire for them to feel that the music they create on their instrument is meaningful and beautiful, and it is worth every hour spent practicing.”

The siblings practiced almost daily for the past 10 months before winning the concerto competition.

Brennan Saenz wants to continue music for his whole life.

“I want to keep playing music in high school and for fun, and for the rest of my life,” said Brennan.

Alana Saenz expressed wanting to play until she is 12 years old and then deciding after that.

Brennan and Alana Saenz will be performing with the Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra as part of the spring concert held at Loyola University on March 24.