SOUTH PASADENA – An area middle school student will have an opportunity Wednesday that many young girls only dream of: playing backup at the Grammys for American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson. Ariana Solotoff, 12, will be one of a string quartet that will accompany the Grammy nominee’s performance on the 48th annual televised music awards ceremony. The quartet will play “Because of You” from the album “Breakaway,” which has sold more than 5 million copies and was the third-best selling album of 2005. Ariana, the concert master of the South Pasadena Middle School orchestra, got the gig through connections – her viola teacher and a musician she plays with in the Colburn String Orchestra in Los Angeles. She will spend today and Sunday in rehearsals. Ariana, a seventh-grader, plays the violin, viola, clarinet, piano and guitar. When her family moved to South Pasadena in 2001, there was no orchestra program in the district’s elementary schools. So her mother, Susan Pascale, founded one. The South Pasadena Strings Program now serves more than 200 children with lessons for violin, viola, cello, bass, guitar, piano and voice. “She’s a top player, way beyond what I was at her age,” said Pascale, who played professionally both in Mexico and New York. Ariana is not nervous about the performance, she said, because she’s performed on TV before, including “The Larry Elder Show.” Green Day is her favorite band, but Kelly Clarkson is “pretty good.” “I’m going to see her tomorrow,” Ariana said. “It’s exciting.” Pascale said her daughter began her musical career playing the guitar because she wanted to play rock `n’ roll. As such, she at first had little interest in the viola. “With this, I was like, `See, you can be cool and play viola and be in a rock `n’ roll band,’ ” Pascale said. [email protected] (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4494 AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!