Artist of the Month, Melissa Chang (Jr.), is currently a clarinetist in the University High School (UHS) Wind Symphony and UHS Symphony Orchestra. She has been the first chair clarinetist in the UHS Wind Ensemble for two years. Mr. Corey Heddon (Visual and Performing Arts Dept.) said, “The first chair clarinetist has a huge impact on the way the ensemble interprets the music they are playing.”
She developed an interest for playing the clarinet in fifth grade and has been playing ever since. In addition to participating in the Wind Ensemble and Orchestra at school, Chang has played the clarinet in the All-Southern, All-State and All-National Honor Bands. She currently also plays for the Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble.
Chang admits that when she started to play clarinet, she did not realize the impact that music would have on her life. Instead she thought that practicing was tedious. Reflecting back, she said, “Music is a gradual process of improvement, and it takes a long period of time to truly appreciate the hours of practicing. Music isn’t something you can always immediately see the products of being in, but looking back, I find it tremendously worthwhile.”
Although Chang is planning to pursue medicine after high school, she hopes to continue to play the clarinet. She said, “I have no doubt that [music] will continue to remain an integral part of who I am. I am very thankful to Mr. Heddon for helping to continue my interest in music. It is very inspiring to see such passion and enthusiasm for music.”
Mr. Heddon said, “Melissa has represented the music department well. She is always prepared and is a pleasure to work with. She is strong without being impulsive or overly dramatic. She is the perfect ensemble player and a great part of the team. I am very proud of her accomplishments and cannot wait to see the amazing things she does for the rest of this year and during her senior year.”
By KRUTHI RENDUCHINTALA