As a kid growing up in Fairfax Station, Va., Steven Girard was not filled with any grand aspirations when he first picked up the cello. The instrument seemed to the ingenuous fourth grader a clever alternative to going to his math class. It wasn’t the most ambitious move, but nonetheless it started Steve on a road that ultimately led him to Lawrence University as a cello performance major. “I found out years later that my parents took bets on how long I’d keep with it,” Steve said, “my dad bet three months and my mom bet six.” Despite his parent’s enthusiasm, the cello has become an important outlet for Steve throughout his life. As a student also pursuing a bachelor’s degree in chemistry Steve claims that playing the cello “helps to balance out my life … I’m able to pursue both the academic and musical passions that I have. Being without one or the other would be really hard on me.” When questioned about his first place honors at the statewide American String Teachers Association competition this past week, Steve gave a modest reply. “Turns out, even though it was a state-wide competition, that me and Paul Wolfram were the only two people to audition for it. So I guess it’s nice, but at the same time really lame because it was a pretty uncompetitive competition.” Regardless, Steve received $100 for his efforts and still maintains a friendly relationship with Wolfram so we at the Lawrentian congratulate him for a job well done.