Artist of the Week: Kayla Ludovicy


Artist of the Week: Kayla Ludovicy

April 10, 2024

It has been a year of outstanding accomplishments for WVHS senior and music department standout Kayla Ludovicy. The multi-instrumentalist’s multiple county and state ensemble appointments and musical honors during the 2023-2024 school year have been a fitting culmination to a Warwick Valley music career that began in third grade. Through hard work and talent, it has built to a crescendo ever since.

“I was actually really young, when I first started music – maybe five or six,” Kayla shared. “I started out on piano, taking lessons from my mom, because she played when she was younger as well.”

Kayla said that she wasn’t the best student in those early days, but that her mom’s patient approach is how she first learned to read music, which she realizes gave her a serious leg up when it came time to her first efforts playing an instrument in elementary school.

“Being already able to read music really helped me when I chose oboe in third grade,” she said. “And, right away my mom got me started with private lessons over the summer between third and fourth; that really gave me a head start.”

The oboe is widely regarded as the toughest double reed instrument to play, let alone master. Not only has Kayla done just that, but along her musical path she has also taken up the English horn, the second toughest double reed instrument to play.

“My mom has always encouraged me to push myself,” said Kayla. “So, I’ve always had that approach of challenge yourself, try your hardest, and do your best.”

That commitment to challenging herself has been Kayla’s modus operandi throughout her nine-year scholastic music career, and it shows. She has been a part of the Orange County Music Educators Association (OCMEA) All-County Ensembles every year since fifth grade. Last year, Kayla was selected as an alternate to the New York State Scholastic Music Association (NYSSMA) All-State Orchestra on both the oboe and English horn.

“Those chairs are highly competitive in any ensemble,” said WVHS music teacher Megan Shafer, “so it is rare for a junior to be selected for even one or the other, let alone both, even as an alternate.”

This year Kayla made the NYSSMA All-State and Area All-State Orchestras, outright, on both instruments! She also made both the OCMEA All-County Band and Orchestra, and was invited to perform with the Hudson Valley Performing Arts Foundation Youth Orchestra and the Hudson Valley Honors Band. Here in Warwick, Kayla is obviously a key member of the wind ensemble on oboe. Along the way, she also challenged herself to pick up the trumpet, which she plays in both the WVHS jazz band and marching band.

Kayla’s willingness to challenge herself extends beyond music into academics. Kayla is a member of the National Honor Society and serves as its Secretary. Even though she has multiple college acceptances, she continues to push herself with a rigorous class schedule.

“So, for senior year I didn’t really want to do so many hard courses, but I did it anyway,” she laughed. “AP Calculus, AP Government, AP Literature, AP Bio, AP Chem. It’s been a lot, but it’s going great.”

Kayla has always had a love of math and science, and felt drawn to the medical field. She is currently considering offers from multiple colleges, and two programs have piqued her interest. She was accepted into the dual-degree, five-year Physician Assistant Studies program at Hofstra University, as well as the Chemical Engineering program at Cooper Union. While the latter does not offer formal music programs, Hofstra’s offer includes additional scholarship funds to join their orchestra on oboe, and the opportunity to take private lessons with Hofstra music faculty.

Kayla has yet to make a final decision about her collegiate path, but knows her career path will take her into medicine or an adjacent scientific field. Of course, music figures prominently into her considerations.

“I will always keep music in my life,” Kayla said. “I like having something to practice, having something to be a part of besides my studies. It’s something that I love so much, and it’s something that can help get your mind off of some of the other life stuff, and that’s nice.”

As she wraps up her Warwick Valley career, Kayla said that music has been one of the most rewarding things in her life. She talks about the fun of and camaraderie of collaborating with other musicians, and the ways in which music afford you opportunities to have a blast, to share with others and to give back. Music has been such an important part of her life, that she encourages younger students to get involved and experience those benefits for themselves.

“When you find a passion for something, even something you’re good at it, you can always be better,” she said, encouraging those coming up behind her to always stay up for a challenge! “Keep going, even when it gets hard, persevere, because it’s so rewarding.”


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