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Musician Profile: James Kim

Courtesy of Kim

Courtesy of Kim

Morgan Zee, Staff Writer

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When you think of dedicated and talented musicians at Kent, James Kim ’19 certainly fits the bill. He has been part of a variety of musical groups at Kent including orchestra, chamber orchestra, choir, and was invited into the Tri-M Music Honor Society in his sophomore year. Kim also performed as a violinist in the pit orchestra for last year’s school musical, The Sound of Music. He currently leads the Kent School Orchestra as the co-concertmaster and is a section leader in the St. Joseph’s Chapel Choir. James has been playing the violin for about ten years. He has studied under the tutelage of Juilliard’s Dr. Ann Setzer and currently studies with Dr. Luciana Lourenco-Arraes at Kent.

James is clearly an involved musician at Kent, but his passion certainly goes far beyond campus. He is a first violinist in the Connecticut Northern Regional Orchestra and All-State Orchestra. Last year, he was second seat in the All-State orchestra. This year, James has been selected to perform as a first violinist for the All-National Orchestra, which is sponsored by the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). James will be going to Orlando, Florida, to attend the National Festival at Disney World’s Coronado Springs Resort during Thanksgiving Break.

Mrs. Hobbs, his orchestra and chamber music director, says, “A word to describe James is intensity with a capital I. He’s very dedicated as a musician. He came to Kent School with impeccable technique and ability, so that’s made him a fantastic kid to work with in terms of flexibility as a sight reader and being able to lead ensembles small and large. His intensity and dedication to practicing has made him competitive beyond the walls of Kent. He brings a great amount of passion to his playing which is very exciting to watch and hear.”

James also makes time to share his music with the residents of the Morningstar Nursing Home in town. Mrs. Hobbs speaks highly about James’ character, “He’s about outreach as well, he’s not a selfish player. He wants to share.”

Prior to coming to Kent, James has been part of other orchestras including the World Youth Alliance Chamber Orchestra, where he performed at the United Nations. He also participated in the New York Music Competition, co-hosted by the YWCA of Queens and Korea Daily, was awarded third prize and featured in the Korea Daily newspaper.

James adds, “I love playing the violin because it allows me to express my emotions, and Kent helped me find my passion for music. The strong music program at Kent and the weekly private lessons really helped me grow into the musician I am today, and I am so thankful for all of the supportive faculty members around me. I am excited to continue pursuing what I love in music and advancing further in my musical studies.”

James has a busy year of music ahead of him. Besides his performance in Orlando, he recently finished auditions for regionals — three points from a perfect score. In December, he will be performing in the Holiday concert, and the Lessons and Carols performances that will take place at Kent.

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Musician Profile: James Kim