Maple students plan to shine at Carnegie Hall
From left, Maple School students, Ellie Kim, 12, Sue Hong, 14, and Sarah Chin, 11, are three of the five members of the Music Academy of Chicago Ensemble which recently won a regional competition. | Brian O'Mahoney~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 1, 2012 11:32AM
Two Maple School student musicians in Northbrook are hoping a classmate will lead them to another winning experience at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
Ellie Kim and Sarah Chin are members a string ensemble that in April won the Illinois Grand Prize in Chicago with Sue Hong as first-chair leader.
Sponsored by the International New Praise Academic Support Society, the competition continues Sunday at Carnegie Hall, one of the most popular theaters in the world for classical and popular music.
Kim and Hong play violin, while Chin’s instrument is the violin, and they live in Northbrook.
“I cue them and make sure they come in on time, which is fun but you need to build relationships with people in an ensemble,” said Hong, an eighth grader who has been playing since she was 5 years old.
“I think we won the Grand Prize because we play together with unity. There’s also an emotional part to playing well. We’re all very good friends,” she said.
About 25 students performed at the Chicago competition, representing several states in dance, as soloists and ensembles.
“I was surprised to win. One girl was perfect on the violin. I thought we didn’t have a chance. She came in second,” said Kim, in the seventh grade.
“We work hard together and look to our first chair for leadership.”
The ensemble included two more local students from Attea Middle School in Glenview and Deerfield High School.
They played “What the Lord has Done In Me” by Reuben Morgan and “Radetzky March,” Johann Strauss Sr.
Since 2004, the International New Praise Academic Support Society has annually held regional music contests in the United States, Canada, China and Korea for pre-Kindergarten to college-age musicians.
A nonprofit faith-based organization in Chantilly, Va., the society’s mission is helping young people achieve musical goals by connecting them to accomplished composers, performers and conductors.
While in New York City, the friends will attend a Broadway performance of “Wicked,” the musical.
“This is all very exciting, and we’re ready to go to New York. I hope we win, but the real honor is performing in Carnegie Hall,” said Chin, a six grader.