By KHASHAYAR GHAFFARIEH
December’s Artist of the Month features junior Alexis Kim, nominated by orchestra director Mr. Andrew Winslow. Kim is a talented violist in Symphony Orchestra, the top orchestra of UHS, and a member of the Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra. She holds the position of third chair in Symphony Orchestra. She is one of the most talented members of the orchestra though she is also an elite student athlete balancing a heavy course load as well as golf where she plays on the UHS Varsity Team. In addition, she was recently nominated as November’s Athlete of the Month by her golf coach Mr. Kevin Kasper.
When searching for an Artist of the Month, Winslow searched for a student who was well rounded, someone who had a diverse array of interests and excelled in most categories. He wanted a student who could juggle everything responsibly, not just someone devoted solely to their instrument. To Winslow, Kim was an ideal candidate for these reasons.
“She recently went on this big golf tournament and she missed a lot of school and when she came back, she hadn’t been in class,” Winslow said, “she came into her audition and she performed really, really well, I was so impressed, especially because she had so much stuff going on and so that is why I nominated her to be the artist of the month.”
Kim first started playing the viola in the fourth grade when various string instruments were displayed in front of students at Turtle Rock Elementary School, and she was immediately drawn to said instrument. Prior to this, she had been playing piano from a young age. She continued on both instruments until the sixth grade, when she quit the piano and chose to continue on with her practices on viola.
“I quit piano because I wanted more of a group experience, piano is more of a solo experience,” Kim said.
Kim finds enjoyment in orchestra not only as an avid musician or because of the feeling of working in a group, but also as a performer in front of audiences.
“I think every concert is a really special moment because you’re finally getting to share the piece with an audience and all your hard work from the season before, it’s finally coming to fruition,” Kim added on.
Regarding her future plans, Kim is unsure about what the future may have in store for her. She has said she does not intend to pursue viola as a college major, but added on that she hopes to continue playing in college groups as well as independently.
Winslow believes that she will successful in whatever she pursues, but he hopes that she continues to play the viola beyond high school life, even if it may not be her primary focus.
“I would like to see her continue playing the viola, especially if it’s something that makes her happy, I think it should be a part of her life regardless of if she is playing an ensemble or not, but I think that she has so many talents in so many different fields that she can do whatever she wants, but I hope the viola is a part of that,” Winslow said.