Academic Achiever of the Week: Cora Farra

Cora has played tuba for six years and it looks like her hard work has paid off.
Cora has played tuba for six years and it looks like her hard work has paid off.(Laura Bowen)
Published: Dec. 15, 2020 at 6:14 PM EST
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Our academic achiever of the week is a star student and musician so we made sure to give her a chance to toot her own horn.

To be specific, that horn would be a tuba.

Cora Farra is a triple threat in the band world. She’s a part of marching band, concert band, and jazz band. On top of that she has made honor band every year of high school.

She says marching band is her favorite.

Cora has a  4.1 GPA too.

This may sound like a lot to balance, but band has actually helped her grades rather than distract from them.

Cora explained, “One thing with band, which is really weird, it showed me how to study. In music, whenever you’re learning a piece, you don’t always start from beginning going to the end. You start a section at a time and you work that section.”

Despite band’s positive effect on her grades, she actually started playing to get out of class.

“It was kind of the thing to do in fifth grade. it got you out of this really ridiculous class and so I joined the band being lazy and I actually really enjoyed it. I played the trombone at first,” she said.

It looks like tuba stuck. Cora’s been at it for six years now and was even recognized for her playing by the army.

When the spotlight glows, Cora is in the zone.

“You’re like please don’t mess up please don’t mess up and it’s really interesting to see all of the audience sitting out, then the lights go dim, and you take your seat and then there’s the first breath kind of so everybody takes a collective *breathes in* and then the music starts and you preform about 10 minutes and you hear the rises and falls. It’s like you’re being completely surrounded by music,” she said.

Music may be a passion for Cora but she dreams of medicine.

This all started when her life science teacher told her she had a gift in health sciences.

What followed was a school trip to the cadaver lab.

Cora said, “On the bus ride up there, I was really nervous because I didn’t want to be the one kid who didn’t think it was disgusting or the one kid that threw up after seeing something so I was really nervous and I got into the lab and it wasn’t anything that I expected. I had some Frankenstein laboratory scene in my mind. It was actually really clean.”

For now you’ll find Cora under the spotlight with a tuba in hand, but one day you may find her under the fluorescent glow of a hospital with a scalpel ready to go.

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