Whether in the water or on the stage, Lexi Niiranen loves to perform.
As a member of the D.W. Poppy swim team, the Grade 12 student won silver at this year’s B.C. high school championships. The 17-year-old also won bronze last year as a member of the Abbotsford Whalers Swim Club at the B.C. summer swimming provincial championships.
But while she has swam for the past 13 years, Niiranen did not pick up music until Grade 7 band class.
“I just fell in love with it, it is my greatest passion,” she said. “I enjoy creating something that other people can listen to.”
“It is an emotion that is hard to describe,” Niiranen said.
“I fall in love with everything that I am playing; it all just comes out so naturally.”
“My goal is to have the audience feel the same emotion and passion that I feel when I play.”
Niiranen mainly plays the alto saxophone, but can also play the clarinet, flute, tenor sax, baritone sax, and piccolo.
In addition to her musical and athletic exploits, Niiranen is a model student.
Her work ethic has earned Niiranen awards for perfect attendance, hard work, dedication and leadership. She has been an honour roll student since Grade 8, and has been recognized for her excellence in math, band and P.E.
She also volunteers as a coach on both the pool deck and in the music room.
“That just helps me to put my passion out to the younger students and hope that they can continue with it,” Niiranen said.
“I want to ignite their fire in their hearts, like mine was.”
Niiranen hopes to study at UBC Okanagan and wants to become a high school math teacher, and possibly, music teacher.
In her spare time, she is also working on writing a fantasy novel.
She was one of the seven nominees for the Township of Langley’s Pete Swensson outstanding community youth award.