Hava Polinksy, ’17

Music Student

Hava Polinsky, Class of 2017, pursuing a career in music by studying at Juilliard.

Michael Melinger

Hava Polinsky, Class of 2017, pursuing a career in music by studying at Juilliard.

CHS graduate from the class of 2017, Hava Polinsky, has continued her pursuit of a career as a violinist at perhaps the most prestigious art school in the country: Julliard.

Starting at the end of eighth grade, Polinksy knew that she was destined to play the violin. Her passion for music was partially derived from her access to the resources and classes that Clayton provided. While at CHS, Polinsky focused her time towards the symphonic orchestra.

In addition to the orchestra at school, she spent many hours playing with the St. Louis Symphony.

“My senior year of high school, the conductor of the St. Louis Symphony asked me to solo with the orchestra during their New Year’s Eve concert,” Polinsky said. “It will definitely always be a highlight of my life.”

She credits part of her success to the community at Clayton and its flexible, supportive environment.

“Senior year, when I was auditioning for music schools, I really needed to have as much practice time as I could. Everyone at Clayton, all the staff, the counselors, everyone was super willing to let me have as many free periods as I could,” Polinsky said. Mr. Henderson, the CHS orchestra teacher, played a major role in helping Polinsky to succeed.

“[Mr. Henderson] is great,” Polinsky said. “He’s obviously an incredible musician who understands what it takes and helps his students to achieve it.” Mr. Henderson’s wisdom and guidance have paid off, as Polinsky is currently auditioning for various summer and winter festivals in New York, and as predicted, has been excelling in those as well.

Polinsky found it very comforting to have the support of her peers and teachers in high school, and their willingness to do whatever it took to support her success.

“Don’t feel threatened by the societal pressure,” Polinsky said. “It’s sort of like the elephant in the room that no one will really talk about, but if you find a track and you find something you’re passionate about, then Clayton can help you engage in that and run with it.”