THS’s Annual Chamber Music Society’s Young Musicians Program Finalists

Michelle Lee, Staff Writer

Earlier this week, three THS students, Christy Choi (’21), Sanford Whatley (’21), and Iris Sung (’23), qualified as finalists for the 37th Annual Chamber Music Society’s Young Musicians Program. The trio performed Dohnányi Serenade in C major, Op. 10 with Choi on cello, Whatley on viola, and Sung on violin. All three students currently attend Juilliard Pre-College. 

All applicants for the Young Musicians Program are initially put into regional groups in the preliminary round and send in videos of their ensemble piece. After qualified contestants passed regionals, they attended semi-finals in their respective regions. In the case of this THS ensemble, although they were initially scheduled to perform at a college in New Jersey, due to COVID-19, that university was closed. Semi-finalists instead performed at Lincoln Center in Manhattan before the city was in an emergency state. Finalists were initially scheduled to perform in the 37th Annual Young Musician’s Concert at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center, but after the pandemic’s situation escalated, the digital concert made up of the finalists’ semi-finals performances was broadcasted via the Chamber Music Society Facebook page and website. You can view their performance at the bottom of this article. 

The three felt honored to have qualified as finalists in the Young Musician’s Concert, and they found a sense of camaraderie in this time of quarantine. “I can’t wait to perform with my friends again,” Sung stated. “I hope you enjoy the performance.”

They also found it uplifting to be making music at this time. “When I received the news that we were chosen for finalists, it really made me so happy and motivated to try even harder,” said Choi in her thank you statement. “Even though this is a really unfortunate time, I’m doing my best to stay positive, using this time to discover more beautiful music. Music has really kept me sane throughout this time. No matter where we are, music will always be alive.”

Congratulations once again to these extremely talented musicians for qualifying as finalists in the extremely competitive program. The Tenafly music community looks forward to what these musicians will achieve in the future.