Hometown: born in Seoul, Korea; moved to Tenafly, NJ
Major: Flute Performance
Undergraduate School: NEC (B.M.)
Current Teacher: Paula Robison
9:00 am – Madness at NEC – people rushing into Jordan Hall for orchestra rehearsal. Yes, it is in the morning, and as harsh as an early morning rehearsal is, I also understand that NEC is training students to adapt to the real world, where many major orchestras do have their rehearsals in the morning. It’s even more difficult if you’re not a morning person, and I definitely am not. I still manage to be on time though, motivated by the fear of having to deal with a rehearsal absence. We’re rehearsing Brahms 4 and Dephnis et Chloe, and as principal flute, it would be pretty obvious if I wasn’t around when rehearsal starts.
12:00 pm – Lunch time! Usually, I’ll just get something to eat along Huntington Avenue. They’ve pretty much got everything covered. But today, I feel like going for a nicer lunch along Tremont or Charles Street. On my way back to school, I walk along Newbury Street to enjoy life at Boston, which for me consists of a lot of shopping, and Newbury is filled with the best shops.
2:00 pm – I walk over to Jordan Hall to find a practice room. I’ve been stressed out because I have a recording session coming up and I really need to practice for it. I need to send in my pre-audition tape for an international competition and they want the entire repertoire. As usual, there aren’t enough practice rooms for all of us who want to practice, but I still manage to find one. I only have time to warm up with some scales and some etudes though before running off to my work-study job in the Admissions Office, followed by class.
4:00 pm – Time for my weekly lesson with my teacher, Paula Robison. Paula’s influence on my music making has been tremendous, and her interpretation and perspective on music seems to mesmerize me in every lesson I have. When learning a piece, I am expected to study beyond the notes on the sheet and research the circumstances at the time of the composition and derivation of specific motifs which the composer uses throughout the piece; it is a fascinating experience to have. I’ve been working on the Martinů Sonata, and learned that Martinů wrote the piece in celebration of the end of WWII; in the second movement, he depicts a scene where birds were attacked by a rattlesnake under the roof of his summer house in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
8:00 pm – Okay, time to practice for real. I consider this a sacred moment; nothing but me and my flute in a Jordan Hall practice room. I become a secluded individual for the next few hours. Well…except when friends walk by and see me practicing. I wave back to them but continue to focus on my flute. I take breaks here and there and say hi to friends who are also in the practice rooms. TEMPUS FUGIT; yes, it flies!
12:00 am – Jose, NEC’s most respected security guard at night, comes into my practice room and reminds me that “It’s time to go!” He lets me stay just a bit longer before another day comes to an end.
1:00 am – I get home exhausted. I take a shower and jump into my bed with a book called "The Music of Life" by Denis Noble, an interesting book about how music influences people in terms of scientific perspectives: biologically, chemically, and physically. Watching some TV shows on my computer is another sacred ritual I always have before I go to bed. Hope I get up in time for orchestra…