Ahwatukee resident Yulee Kim has been burning the midnight oil in preparations for her orchestra performance at Carnegie Hall in New York.

Kim, who plays the cello, was able to receive the chance to perform at Carnegie Hall by placing in Regional’s in 2012, and placing in All State last March.

“It felt really refreshing because I worked really hard on my solos and my skills to get in, and I was shocked because Carnegie Hall is a really big place that I thought I wouldn’t be able to play at,” Kim said.

During her performance at Carnegie Hall coming up on Feb. 9, Kim will be one of 14 cellists in the section.

She is looking forward to performing in such a well-known venue and working with individuals in her own age group who share her talents in music. Her nervousness of performing has slowly kicked in and is due in part because she will be traveling alone to New York for a week, which is the first trip she has taken without her parents by her side.

“It’s kind of nerve racking to be in a big city by myself, but also to be able to perform there is also nerve racking,” Kim said.

However, the trip is not all business.

Kim will have a chance to explore the Big Apple during her week stay, which gives her the opportunity to explore a city she has never seen.

“We get to have site seeing of Manhattan, see a Broadway show, there’s a party set up, so it’s not just all about practicing I also get to enjoy my time in New York,” she added.

Kim, a sophomore at Arizona School of the Arts, has some background when it comes to music, playing the cello for five years and the piano for seven years.

Her parents were major influences when Kim began focusing on learning to play the piano and cello as a type of skill, but she began leaning towards honing her skills in playing the cello.

“I feel that I’m better at cello than I am at piano, and I enjoy it more,” she said.

Being that Kim showed promise in playing both instruments, her parents felt that by sending their child to a performing arts school, she would benefit from the experience.

“I used to go to a public school, but they really didn’t have arts classes back then so my parents thought since I’m more focused in the arts that they should send me to an arts school that focuses on both academic classes and art classes,” Kim said.

The initial transition from a public school to the Arizona School of the Arts seemed easy for Kim because the small atmosphere allowed her to easily make friends and to “fit-in” her new surroundings.

She enjoys studying at a performing arts school because it offers a more “community atmosphere” where each student shares the same equal dream and goal on achieving in both academics and arts.

Kim is still unsure if she wants to pursue a career that is based around playing the cello, but she is certain that she will continue sharpening her skills throughout the years.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or dochoa@ahwatukee.com.

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