Artist of the Issue: Allison Jiang


Courtesy of Allison Jiang’22

Performing everything from extraordinary vocals to flowing orchestral melodies, Allison Jiang ’22 is truly a musical master. Allison serves as concertmaster of Chamber Orchestra, theatre prefect, and Maqupella head, while also participating in musical theatre and Select Chamber Music groups. Throughout her career at Groton, her extensive dedication and passion for music has certainly shone. 


How have music and the arts played a role during your life and your time at Groton? What kickstarted your passion?


I started playing the violin when I was four, and I guess I never really stopped. 


My parents gave me the option between classical violin and piano—the obvious choice was violin because it was portable and the perfect size for my tiny four-year-old self. I started with private lessons and Suzuki books, and it really grew from there. Of course, I practiced my scales and études, but I really started falling in love with music through exploring pieces.


Although I came to Groton solely as a classical musician, I’ve also been able to explore vocal music and theatre here. I joined Maqupellas casually out of a passion for intense shower-singing, but I pushed my musical boundaries when I arranged “Issues” by Julia Michaels during my first year. In fourth form, I auditioned for Legally Blonde the Musical. It was so much fun manifesting the quirky, outspoken Paulette whilst bonding with a talented cast.


What are some of your favorite aspects of music?


Something about being onstage is so frightening yet exhilarating at the same time—you start feeling the melodies in a different way with stage nerves. I also love introducing new types of music to people with my performances, and seeing different audience reactions.


What is a particularly special memory of a performance of yours?


I was literally shaking in my seat before my first recital at Groton. I’d pulled out the craziest piece I had: Ravel’s Tzigane, a moody gypsy piece that requires real grit. Although I initially struggled to hold onto my bow under the Gammons lights, I think my playing that day was one of my best performances. 


After being so involved with the arts at Groton, do you have plans to continue in music for the future?


Whether to continue music beyond high school has been such a conflict for me, especially after coming to such an academically-rigorous environment like Groton – but it feels wrong to just let go of music when I graduate. I’ll probably be shooting my shot at a few conservatories and dual degree programs.


What advice do you have for Groton’s aspiring musicians?


As cliché as it is, practice is so important, whether that be drilling arpeggios in the practice rooms or working on your performance skills by volunteering for postludes. As a beginner, it can be scary because there always seems to be someone who’s more technically proficient or confident onstage. However, performing is all about finding out what clicks for you; maybe you’re more of an avant-garde fanatic than a Baroque connoisseur. 


It’s all about persistence, which helps you gain experience and confidence—that’s what makes a good musician.