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Musicians of SIS: Debora Kim

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She stands on stage; her aura remains rather diffident and amiable. She soon grasps the carefree mood and begins to confidently hum the first several words of “Fly Me to the Moon” by Frank Sinatra, a singer whom she greatly admires. As the song progresses, she begins to add to the melody a color that any listener could identify as hers; the ringing voice and vibrato of Debora Kim (12) is well-known to its audience, who return her sounds with shouts of acclamation.

Singing has always been an embedded part of Debora, who can hardly recall when the passion began. “Because my mom worked and has always been busy, I spent most of my time as a child with my grandmother,” she recalls. The influence of her grandmother has consequently been undeniable, whose love for classical music inspired Debora to sing along from time to time. “Besides my grandmother, my dad has also enjoyed singing—we would always sing in the car while listening to the radio. Thinking back, I remember always telling him to sing the melody so I could sing the harmony as a child.”

Although Debora has always been fond of singing, she started her musical passion as a flutist. As a studious musician at heart, she rehearsed daily and actively participated as one of the few selected flutists of the Middle School Orchestra. Despite her dexterity in playing the flute, she was inspired to join choir in tenth grade after watching the Ambassadors perform in a concert. While her decision to take up singing in place of playing the flute was rather abrupt, she sought to make up for the lost time by practicing daily and learning from her past mistakes.

“Because I originally enjoyed singing itself, I kept singing more and more, often rehearsing until my voice turned husky,” Debora says. “Although it was really strenuous just a few years ago, I could see that my hard work paid off especially when I occasionally listen to my recordings from several years ago and notice how much I have improved over time.”

She, however, was not the only one to notice her rapid improvement in singing. Her voice caught the attention of recruiters of a popular Korean audition program, “K-Pop Star.” The first year the show called Debora, she quickly brushed off the offer; the second year, however, posed a dilemma for her. The supportive nature of the recruiters and her love for singing conflicted Debora, but she declined once again because singing was not a potential career for her.

Singing has been and will continue to be pivotal to Debora, who anticipates the passion to further expand during her second semester under the tutoring of Kallina Chin, choir teacher. She also sees herself listening to professional singers like Adele to hone her own singing techniques—a talent she hopes to use for the service of others.

“Regardless of the fact that going to hospitals and orphanages to share music is part of community service for Tri-M, I believe that such deeds must be considered with more value. We are not only helping those in need, but are also bonding simply through music. Recently, I have been thinking about who I would have become if I did not sing and how much music itself defines me. But I am actually still trying to come out of that phase right now.”


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