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  • Reedy Orchestra

April Spotlight Students

Nitya Mattey

Nitya Mattey, a freshman harpist in Philharmonic Reedy Orchestra, recently completed writing a novel and has received a Silver Key in a Scholastic Arts and Writing Competition. The fantasy novel is named Lekhs and the Realm of Time and the concept regards Indian mythology.

She began writing the novel about eleven months ago on April 6, and in early November, she wrote 88,000+ words for the first draft. She was inspired to write the novel after visiting the Perot Museum, giving her an idea for a scene in the early chapters. Once she had the vision in mind, she started writing with the ideas for the characters. She planned out chapters and major events while figuring out some of the plots along the way.

"The main inspiration behind Lekhs and the Realm of Time is that I didn't see the kind of characters I wanted to read about. There wasn't a book about an Indian, preteen outcast finding herself through a world of magic and monsters," Nitya said. "That's why I decided to write the characters I wanted to read. It was also just for me to write and see if this was something I liked."

She balanced writing and orchestra easily, as outside of school, she was always writing. Whether plotting or creating characters, she was absorbed in seeing and typing any ideas that appeared in her head. Her writing grew, as she noted, "Compared to the beginning chapters, the last few climax chapters were a lot more detailed and clearer in what I wanted to describe."

After her hard work on the novel, she entered the annual Scholastic Arts and Writing Competition. She was awarded a Silver Key in Novel Writing, which only 7 to 10% of regional entries receive. Other options for regional awards include Gold Key, Silver Key, or Honorable Mentions. In the Southern region of the US, only 19 students were awarded Keys or an Honorable Mention in Novel Writing.

Reedy Orchestra is incredibly proud of Nitya's writing success and is excited to see where her exceptional writing and harp talents will take her.

Aithreya Thoppay and Manyaa Bhatia

Aithreya Thoppay, a sophomore violinist in Symphonic Reedy Orchestra, and Manyaa Bhatia, a sophomore violist in Symphonic Reedy Orchestra, recently placed high rankings in Regional Science Fair.

The process of the Science Fair includes coming up with a novel idea that is impactful to society. This can take up to a week or month before beginning planning. Steps for planning include deciding where to conduct the procedures, whether in a laboratory or at home. The process then takes 3-4 months, which becomes a very big time commitment. Both Manyaa and Aithreya noted how important working dutifully, sometimes every day, is to avoid procrastination.

The first competition is Regional Fair, and students must place 1st, 2nd, or 3rd to move to Texas Fair. They then must place 1st to move to ISEF, the international science and engineering fair. This is a very prestigious competition and an impressive accomplishment for colleges.

Manyaa's project focused on creating a pipeline that diagnosed infections in the human body, and it was submitted into the biokinesis category. Aithreya created an "early diagnosis tool for pancreatic cancer at phase one this year, an encyclical phase meaning computational modeling." She submitted this under the computational biology category.

For the regional fair, Aithreya placed third in computational biology, and Manyaa placed second in Biokinesis. This placement qualified both Manyaa and Aithreya for the Texas Fair, which required each to submit a four-minute video explanation of the entire project.

Reedy Orchestra is extremely proud of Manyaa and Aithreya for their high achievements in Science Fair, and we can't wait to see their future accomplishments.


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