Johnny Chung Jr., an 8th-grade cellist from Columbia Middle School, performed with the California Music Educators Association Junior High School Honor Orchestra on Jan. 13.
Johnny, along with more than 70 students from around the Bay Area and San Joaquin Valley, presented an outstanding program of music under the direction of guest conductor, Doris Fukawa. Students were nominated by their music teachers to take part in the event.
Rehearsals and performances took place at Chabot College in Hayward, CA. Students rehearsed all day Friday, January 12th and on the morning of Saturday, January 13th. The performance took place in the afternoon on Saturday, the 13th. His two older sisters, parents and music teacher supported him in the audience.
“Needless say, I am quite proud of Johnny,” said CMS Band and Orchestra Director Warren Scott, who nominated Chung for the opportunity. “He is the epitome of what I hope each of my students will aspire to be. He represented our school in an outstanding light and deserves to be commended for his hard work.”
Chung began taking music with Mr. Scott in the sixth grade as a violinist. He didn’t take up the cello until seventh grade.
Chung said he was shocked when his teacher told him he was chosen to perform because he only had less than two years’ experience as a cellist.
“But Mr. Scott said I worked really hard, which is why I was chosen,” Chung said. “I just felt really special.”
He said getting to work with a conductor who participated in orchestras that made music for soundtracks like Star Wars was an amazing experience, in addition to being in such a large theater with so many musicians.
“It was a big sound.”
Chung said his favorite thing about music is it is how you can express yourself without words.
“It’s just a beautiful art; you let your emotions flow,” he said. “It’s special and if you have a great teacher it will probably stay with you for the rest of your life. Music connects us all. It’s great.”
Article submitted by Warren Scott.