With her life filled with music from participating in several honors bands, high school band and choir, classes and private lessons, Cassi Traunero has a love and appreciation of music.
Cassi began playing flute in fourth grade. Now a senior-to-be at Columbian High School, she said she found her love of music from her grandmother and mother.
"They both played piano, and I just picked up on it," Cassi said.
She plays not only flute, but piccolo, guitar, piano and sings.
"Music (just) opens up new doors to experiences and to people with common interests," she said. "I love the flute the most because you are able to tell a story without words."
Cassi participates in multiple organizations such as the Columbian High School marching band, pep band, symphonic band and choir; Lima Area Youth Orchestra, Bowling Green State University Reading Clinics, Kent State University Wind Ensemble Honors Band, All-Ohio State Fair Band and Ohio Ambassadors of Music based at BGSU.
Over the summer, Cassi got the chance to be a part of Ohio Ambassadors of Music European Concert Tour in the honor band. The tour lasted 16 days from the end of June. She and 100 members traveled through England, France, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Italy and Germany.
While on the tour, they played concerts every night in different venues. Cassi was the lead piccolo and first flute and was asked to perform a solo featured in the piece "Stars and Stripes Forever."
"During this piece, I was featured to play the piccolo at the front of the stage for each and every concert we gave," Cassi said.
Cassi said she also was able to do a great deal of sightseeing, visiting the Tower of London, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Venice and the mountains in Switzerland.
Switzerland, Cassi said, was her favorite place to visit because of the scenery and being able to wake up every morning and see mountains.
"Overall, the European tour has taught me many new things about the world, and how different we are from the rest," Cassi said. "I will always remember the trip and all of the wonderful memories it has created for me."
In addition to the musical entities Cassi participates in, she holds jobs as a lifeguard at the YMCA's indoor and Tiffin's outdoor pool, and takes private guitar and flute lessons while taking a music theory class outside of school.
"My mom helps me with my schedule," Cassi said. "She helps everything run smoothly."
Cassi said the experiences she has had so far have made her a better musician and person. She plans to attend Ohio State University once she graduates and major in flute performance and music therapy.
"I want to use the skills I have to help others," Cassi said.
Her mom, Andrea Traunero, said, "Cassi has the dedication and drive to succeed. Music is a great outlet."
Cassi said it has helped to have a busy schedule. Now, she is preparing for college auditions and getting ready for another school year.
"It is going to be a challenge, but I am looking forward to it," she said.
"Music makes me happy," Cassi said. "Music is a universal language that everyone can understand, its a different way of expressing and telling a story."