Musicians of SIS: Jiwon Chung

Jaeha Kim

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She patiently waits for the queue of the conductor; she lifts her bow and the orchestra comes to life.

Seventh-grade summer marked a new beginning for Jiwon Chung (10), the principle cellist of the high school orchestra this year. Mesmerized by the deep sound of the cello, she decided to pursue the instrument instead of the piano, which she had mastered for over three years. Officially leaving the piano behind, Jiwon grasped her new instrument and practiced until she had perfected every note.

“At my piano academy, my teacher used to play the cello in accompaniment to my playing of the piano. Out of curiosity, I decided to try out the cello, and instantly fell in love with the instrument,” Jiwon said. “Although I no longer play the piano regularly, I do still play sometimes during my free time, when I am with family or friends.”

Jiwon credits her musical inspiration to her parents, who are both classic-lovers; her father, in particular, officially studied classical music and has an expertise in string instruments. Growing up listening to the classical music her parents would turn on, the genre became an embedded part of Jiwon’s daily lifestyle. In addition to her parents’ shared appreciation of classical music, Jiwon explains that her growth as a musician would’ve been impossible if not for their avid support in her studies.

Her musical talent paired with her solid work ethic naturally paved the way for Jiwon’s numerous accomplishments with her music. Not only has she become the principal of the cello section at SIS, she has received national acclaim for her performance, receiving invitations to the national honor festival for three consecutive years.

“The biggest honor and musical accomplishment that I have as of now, is being the principle of the SIS Cellos.” Jiwon said. “Being the leader of a high-level orchestra like that of SIS is truly an amazing experience for me—one that I will never be able to forget even as I move on from high school.”

Despite her successes however, Jiwon confesses to also having faced various difficulties. With an extremely busy school schedule to manage, balancing music and academics has always been a struggle for Jiwon. Although she finds the challenge greater than ever since she entered high school, Jiwon has continued to dedicate at least 90 minutes of her daily schedule for her instrument.

Jiwon currently participates in various music-related activities at SIS, including High School Strings, High School Orchestra, and Music Honor Society Tri-M. She hopes to encourage participation of the arts at SIS and further her passion with the deep resonance of her cello.


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