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Warwick Valley student artist of the week: Paul Gagliano

on November 8, 2019

Playing music teaches discipline and the ability to focus. Discipline and focus are valued traits to have, especially in the workforce.  People expect you to pay attention and know what’s going on around you at all times.’ 


Paul GaglianoAlthough his college search is just now beginning in earnest, Warwick Valley High School junior Paul Gagliano has a future career in mind:  A violinist in Broadway orchestra pit.

It’s the perfect combination of Paul’s love for music and theater and he’s planning to make every effort for his dream to become a reality. 

Music teacher Elissa Maynard said Paul has exhibited exemplary talent in the musical arts.  He’s a member of the school’s Chamber Orchestra, Meistersingers, the Orange Community College Orchestra, is a mentor with the middle school’s Wire Choir, a New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) Solo Festival participant, and was selected for NYSSMA’s Area All-State and All-State festivals.  

“Throughout the time I have known him, Paul has contributed toward the betterment of the school/community by performing regularly and being a positive role model inside and outside of the music class,” she said.

These are among the reasons why Paul is this week’s Warwick Valley artist of the week.

“I love to play the violin anywhere,” said Paul. “And I’d really like to be a part of a Broadway orchestra pit. I just love musical theater. To be able to combine that with the violin would be great.”

A goal to become a Broadway orchestra pit violinist

Paul knows orchestra pit work is a very narrowly focused career choice.  

“There’s not a lot of people you can ask about this,” he said. “But, I met a couple pit violinists. I think it would be a lot of fun and I have a passion for this.”  

As a musician, Paul knows different musical genres appeal to different people.

“There’s so many facets to music, you’re never limited to one thing,” said Paul, whose father works on Broadway as a sound man.  “My playlist has everything, what I listen to depends on the day.  Music is important to everyone in different ways. And modern media has shed a light on what it takes to make music.”

Still, Paul has an affinity to classical music.

Paul Gagliano“Classical music is, a lot of times, dismissed or made fun of,” he said. “People may only listen to rap – I love a lot of rap, but I wish people would have more of an open mind for the types of music they listen to.”

Music teaches discipline and focus 

Like others, Paul acknowledges a connection between music and academics.

“As far as music being important, yes, you can go the scientific route,” he said. “Yes to music and better grades. I do well in the classes I take and music has helped. Playing music teaches discipline and the ability to focus.”

Having discipline and focus are desired attributes for anyone to have, but Paul expanded on their importance.

“Discipline and focus are valued traits to have, especially in the workforce,” he said. “People expect you to pay attention and know what’s going on around you at all times. There’s a lot of similarities with orchestra and the workforce. There’s a lot of parallels you can see. This will better position me, in my view.”

Paul knows his time at Warwick Valley will pass in a speedy fashion.

“It feels weird that now we’re all talking about getting into college and it’s all going to end here soon,” he said. “I’ve been looking at music colleges since eighth-grade. My first choice is the Manhattan School of Music. I know it’s the luck of the audition.”

In the meantime, Paul is continuing to find and cultivate connections.

“Music is a really small community,” he added. “It’s a tighter community than you think. We hear that all the time from directors and conductors. I’m just going to keep building my musical credentials.”            



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