Louise Deser Siskel, a senior at Pasadena’s Sequoyah High School and San Marino High School senior Sherry Ma were among the seven young ladies who who heard their name called and received a bouquet of fresh-cut red roses symbolizing selection to the Tournament of Roses Royal Court this morning to serve under the 2019 Rose Parade theme “Melody of Life.”
At San Marino High School, Sherry is currently editor-in-chief of the Titanian Yearbook, president and founder of the Make-A-Wish Club, and a varsity basketball manager. As a three-year member of the school’s Titan Shield newspaper, Sherry has been a frequent contributor to The Tribune.
The daughter of Alex Luk and Kristy Ma, Sherry enjoys playing the flute and piano, reading, dancing, and spending time with friends. She plans to study communication and media studies and would like to attend Emerson College, Fordham University, New York University, or the University of Southern California. Sherry has a sister, Sally Yang.
“Music is a language that is spoken through emotions,” Sherry said. “Not everyone can understand words, but everyone understands the power of love and kindness. We are all connected, just like the music notes that are intermittently connected. Music gives you the power to reach people you know, and even the people you don’t know. The ‘Melody of Life’ is about the musical conversation all around us that expresses what cannot be said. This melody can help humans forget their differences and come together to transform negativity into hope, freedom, and color. This year’s theme has a very deep emotional connection to me because of how passionate I am about artistic expression.”
A resident of San Marino, Louise is currently a member of the debate team, and Judicial committee at Sequoyah High School, participates in the YMCA Youth and Government program, and is researching breast cancer under Dr. Shehla Pervin at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. Louise enjoys reading, playing board games with her family, traveling and laughing with friends. She plans to study cellular and molecular biology and would like to attend Johns Hopkins University, the University of Chicago, or Yale University. Louise is the daughter of Charlie Siskel and Abigail Deser and has one brother, Simon.
“For me, ‘The Melody of Life’ is standing at the lab bench at 7:00 a.m., singing along to show tunes,” Louise said. “It is classical music when I’m writing and 2000s hits when I’m nervous. I belt out Cole Porter verses with my grandfather and ABBA anthems with my friends. Music has an astounding capacity to bring people together and has always been an integral part of my favorite traditions and most treasured memories. Music makes the world a more forgiving and more joyful place.”
San Marino High School seniors Stevie Perry and Katherine Choi were also among the 44 finalists who were in attendance at Tournament House this morning, guaranteeing that the community would have been well represented no matter who was chosen.
The Rose Queen will be announced on Tuesday, October 23.