Toward the end of the school day, the hallways of Niles West are loud and bustling, filled with people going from one place to another. Amoungst this group of intentful students is freshman Lorelei Wernecke. She is on her way to do something she is beyond passionate about; fine arts.
Though finding an activity that you are passionate about can difficult at such a young age, Wernecke has fallen in love with both singing and theater. She has been able to become increasingly involved with both of these fine arts activities in the past year. She has been placed into a higher level choir class and has even been awarded with a solo; something that almost never happens to freshmen.
“Both my choir group and theater troope have welcomed me with open arms, and I have grown close to several people in both groups. They really helped me in my transition into high school and the adjustments of a new choir and new theater group,” Wernecke said.
When looking into the future, Wernecke sees herself becoming more involved in both of these activities. Because she has an overload of appreciation, she wants to give back to both programs by taking on leadership roles.
“I plan to become more involved in choir and theater by participating in choir board and also, hopefully, becoming a member of the thespian society. The fine arts are my passion, and I hope to become a big part of the groups here,” Wernecke said.
In her first year of high school, Wernecke’s life has completely flipped. Her experience her is much different than the one she had at her middle school. Regardless, she is beyond grateful for the opportunities she has been given.
“Niles West has given me so many new things this year. Sure it was hectic, stressful, crazy, and many other things, but it was ultimately helpful and enlightening. I’ve met so many new people, made so many new friends, and done so many new things that I would’ve never thought of doing in middle school,” Wernecke said. “Overall, I’ve loved every minute of high school, and I can’t wait to see what else I’ll be able to accomplish next year.”
One of Wernecke’s new friends, freshman Madelaine Foler, is also heavily involved in fine arts activities. During their freshaman year, they have grown closer because of the mutual hobbies they share.
“In the coming years, I see her sticking with the things and people she loves, both in and out of Niles West. In choir, she’s always enthusiastic and ready to learn, and [she is] unafraid to give the choir criticism where is is due,” Foler said.
Sophomore Lily Gussis has known Wernecke since elementry school. She has worked side by side with her in a variety of productions, and she has first hand experience of her talent.
“I’ve been doing theater with Lorelei for as long as I can remember. We did theater back at the Lincolnwood Community Center, the Skokie Theater, and Lincoln Hall. She’s always so positive and has such a beautiful voice. She keeps a level of professionalism while still managing to have fun with fellow cast members,” Gussis said. “I’ve loved working with her for so long, and I’m hoping to continue working with her through the rest of high school.”
Wernecke learned a lot during her freshman year, and she would like to share her knowledge with the class of 2021.
“I would tell new freshmen two things. First off, nobody or nothing is as intimidating as it seems. Two, be yourself, because losing yourself in the chaous is the worst thing you could do. Stay true to yourself, be social, and don’t let the homework and workload freak you out. Just breathe,” Wernecke said.