by MICHELLE TREMBLAY | photos by Zeena Gregg Photography

A Young Talent

student_danielson2For 6-year-old Riley Danielson, playing music comes naturally. She is the third generation of musicians in her family, with her father, Chris Danielson, being her biggest musical inspiration. “My dad taught me to play the violin when I was two years old. He helps me be a better violinist in the future,” shared Riley, who is also encouraged by her mother, Tammy. “My mother takes wonderful care of me.”

Riley plays in the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra under the instruction of Ulli Reiner, Artistic Director for the group. “I love my violin teacher here in Poway!” exclaimed Riley.

It was Ms. Reiner who recently offered Riley a scholarship to a well-known music camp in New York City. “I won a scholarship to Mark O’Connor’s New York City music camp last summer,” explained Riley, who was chaperoned to the camp by her father. Both Riley and Chris thoroughly enjoyed their time at the camp, and Riley was thrilled to have the opportunity to work with talented musicians and loved performing on stage.

“My dad taught me to play the violin when I was two years old. He helps me be a better violinist in the future.”

student_danielson3Aside from her time spent practicing music, Riley, who lives in Poway with her family, attends first grade at Community Montessori Charter School. “My favorite thing about school is my friends and my teacher Mrs. Bennett,” shared Riley. “Mrs. Bennett teaches me new lessons, and I like math because it is fun and challenging!”

Riley also stays busy with gymnastics and enjoys reading. “My mom enrolled me in gymnastics at Gyminny Kids,” explained Riley. “I started learning to read in kindergarten. I’m currently reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling.”

As for her future plans, Riley will continue her musical endeavors but also hopes to start volunteering. “I’d like to volunteer doing something in science,” stated Riley.  She also has her sights set on advancing her education. “I want to go to college,” said Riley. “I want to study chemistry. I want to be a chemist!”


Name: Riley Marie Danielson (6)
School: Community Montessori Charter School
Grade: 1
Parents: Chris and Tammy Danielson
Sibling: Sophia Danielson (3)
Favorite Local Spot: Everbowl

student_danielson4