5 Star Student: The student becomes the teacher

Natalie Lugo.jpg

For one Jonesborough student, music is more than a hobby, it's her life.

"I think music speaks in a special way that sometimes language cannot. It can communicate profound emotions and ideas" said Natalie Lugo.

The 18-year-old plays violin, cello, and sings in choir. She's part of a string quartet with her three brothers.

She's been the principal cellist of the ETSU Chamber Orchestra and the Assistant Concertmaster of the Symphony of the Mountains Youth Orchestra.

But she says singing is her main passion.

"I think choral music, in particular, is very special because it comes straight from the heart," said Natalie.

She's been participating in choral groups since she was a child. But now, she's taking on a new role: She's going from choir member, to conductor. She says this is the first step in her journey as a music educator.

"As a music educator, I think I have a special way of being able to touch children's lives. I have seen it many times before in watching my teacher and seeing how she's influenced children's lives," said Natalie.

She thanks her cello teacher Wesley Baldwid and her voice teacher, Rachel Helton for her personal growth.

Natalie also teaches cello, broadening her skills as an educator.

"I have six cello students, ages 4-18. I think every step of the learning process is such a joy to go through with them. It's a joy to see them grow musically, but most of all as people," said Natalie.

She is now entering her senior year of high school. She says she plans on heading to college next year and majoring in music education with a choral emphasis.

If you would like to nominate a 5 Star Student, send an email to or send a message to Ellie Romano's Facebook page.

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