MYSO alumnus Tom Wester, an active-duty officer in the U.S. Navy, was a trumpeter in Philharmonia and Senior Symphony from 2009-2012 and played in the Chamber Orchestra, Brass Choir, and brass quintets. He wrote us about what’s transpired since MYSO and its influence on his life and career.
“Some of the most valuable skills that MYSO taught me were discipline, teamwork, creativity, and self-confidence. As an orchestra member, I learned that being disciplined enough to practice at home to come prepared for rehearsals was crucial, not only for the success of my individual part, but for enabling my individual part to blend with the rest of the orchestra to form a beautiful symphony. Playing music in MYSO taught me to think creatively by experimenting with new ways of transmitting what the composer wrote. It led to taking risks that placed me outside my comfort zone. This allowed me to grow as a musician and instilled greater self-confidence that I carried into my everyday life.
“The skills that I learned in MYSO are enduring and have helped shape me into the person I am today. Whether it be leading my peers, helping me think through and manage difficult decisions, or creatively approach problems, I apply the lessons I learned in MYSO to my life, both personally and professionally, on a daily basis.
“MYSO’s tremendous group of staff and volunteers is truly special. Each one of them consistently went above and beyond to ensure that everything went smoothly and we had the best experience possible. There is not another organization that had such a transformative impact on me during my high school years, and I credit the staff and volunteers who do not get thanked nearly enough. Thank you!”
Tom graduated from Brookfield East High School, completed a Bachelor’s in Applied Mathematics from the U.S. Naval Academy, and earned a Certificate in International Relations and Affairs from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is currently completing a Master’s degree in Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University and conducting research at its Center for International Security and Cooperation.
In 2018, Tom and his wife relocated to San Diego, CA, where he is stationed as a Surface Warfare Officer on board a guided-missile destroyer.