Ellie Kennedy, a 10th grade student at Smithson Valley High School, was named this year’s concertmaster for the Texas All-State Symphony Orchestra, according to a press release from Comal ISD.

Kennedy was chosen as the first chair Violin 1, or concertmaster, making her the leader of the orchestra for its February performance during the Texas Music Educators Association convention in San Antonio.

The TMEA sponsors the All-State audition process that begins each fall with more than 70,000 high school students across the state auditioning, according to the release. The best musicians in each region move on to compete at the area competitions before auditions are held for the All-State divisions.

“I love that music is part of my school life, because it is part of me,” Kennedy said in the release. “I think being a musician is very special, and it is enjoyable to be in a musical community with people with similar music interests.”

Kennedy began playing the violin at the age of 5, and both of her parents are professional violinists. This was her first year to audition for Texas All-State, according to the release.

This summer she will attend Boston University’s Tanglewood Institute to work with professional musicians, take master classes and perform weekly concerts.