Sol Choi – Artist of the Month

Jack Guo, Staff Writer

Senior and principal violist of the UHS Symphony Orchestra, Sol Choi, was nominated by orchestra director Mrs. Grace Lee for March Artist of the Month.

Choi was introduced to music first through the piano. He began learning to play the piano in kindergarten and eventually found a strong interest in string instruments.

Listening to the various string instruments, Choi first attempted to learn the cello. This instrument ended up being too physically difficult for him due to its size. Choi described “it hurt[ing his] knees” when he practiced. 

Describing himself as indecisive, he was unable to pick between the two more popular instruments, the high-ranged violin and the lower-ranged cello. He wanted to enjoy both the clear and high sounds of the violin while also having the richness of the cello.

Fortunately for Choi, the viola encompassed the best of both worlds. Eventually, Choi decided to pick the viola, the perfect blend of two extremes. Choi describes the viola as having “a beautifully mellow sound,” and being “the middle child of the string family because it’s so under appreciated.”

One of Choi’s most memorable experiences during his time playing viola was the UHS orchestra program’s annual Disneyland field trip. Choi “remembers having so much fun on the Star Wars ride and recording Disney music like “Tangled” with [his] friends.”

His classmate, senior Grace Jin, characterizes him as, “a good leader and has a deep understanding of the strengths and high skill level of Uni’s orchestra program.”

Choi also fondly remembers playing Elgar’s “Introduction and Allegro” with his classmates, Sedong Hwang, Brandon Shin and Rachel Kim, in the UHS Symphony Orchestra. As a soloist and the head of the violas, Choi inspires others with his playing and attitude towards music.

As a section leader, he is expected to lead his classmates and stimulate their passion for music by acting as a role model. These qualities are seen and experienced by several of his classmates.

“I find it pretty amazing how his playing adds additional layers of depth and musicality to our performance despite him being the only one playing that part,” Jin said. “His passion and talent for music definitely motivate me to want to practice and contribute more to the orchestra.”

Beyond his raw talent, Choi is appreciated by his peers for his broad-ranging knowledge about music.

“He knows a lot about music and has a ton of experience in music,” classmate and senior Richard Feng said. “It’s fun to talk about music and things going on in rehearsal and it helps to have someone so well-versed.”

Choi plans on continuing playing music in college by joining various university orchestra programs and student chamber ensembles.

“Music’s been a huge passion of mine since I was little so I’d love to continue it after high school,” Choi said. “Working with my friends in the orchestra to create a collective musical sensation has been so gratifying.”