Sounds of Music

Yuna Shin was a busy young woman this past summer. After graduating from Tappan Zee High School in the spring, she traveled to Buenos Aires, Argentina as a member of the prestigious New York Youth Symphony. Upon her return, the long-legged beauty, a talented violinist, headed to Tanglewood for an intensive six-week orchestra music camp. This September she joined the freshman class at Columbia University. “My Dad went to Columbia and it has been a dream of mine to attend too,” Yuna says.

Yuna and her family moved to Palisades when she was in second grade. She started playing the violin as she was about to enter fourth grade at the Cottage Lane Elementary school. “My whole family is musical,” she relates. “My dad plays the violin, my mother the piano, my younger sister the flute and piano. One of my aunts is an opera singer and another is a classical pianist.”

Two years ago Yuna auditioned for the New York Youth Symphony after learning about it from her music teacher and was selected as an alternate. She became a full-fledged member this past year. Now in its fifty-second year, the tuition-free orchestra includes 110 students ranging in age from 12 to 22 and performs three concerts a year at Carnegie Hall plus another three in community concert halls. In addition to the orchestra, the NYYS has programs in conducting, chamber music and composition.

The visit to Argentina was the youth symphony’s first international tour. “It was an incredible experience. We blew them away with our level of playing,” said Yuna. “We played three performances with Libertango by composer Astor Piazzolla, which the Argentineans were quite familiar with, as our encore.” The group had a chance to play with local young musicians as well. “I had studied Spanish so it was helpful communicating when we had a chance to hang out with the students one evening.” They were able to fit in some sightseeing and to see a tango show. “I found the mausoleum outside Buenos Aires especially interesting,” Yuna commented. La Recoleta Cemetery where Eva Peron among other wellknown personalities is buried is considered one of the most beautiful in the world.

Yuna will be staying on campus her freshman year and is excited about living in the city. “I’ll only be blocks away from Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. “ With student discounts she will most likely be taking full advantage of both. “My passion is orchestral music. I enjoy arranging and composing music and I also love to write, especially poetry, which is a big part of me. I find it is the best way to vent my feelings.” She’ll be a busy young lady with all this plus homework and two hours of violin practice a day. “I may wait for the second season to rejoin the New York Youth Symphony. I’m going to be really busy, but they have some wonderful classical music planned for the upcoming year that I would like to play.”

Yuna is undecided about a major; she is considering linguistics, but there is still plenty of time for this talented musician to determine her path. Whatever she chooses, her future is looking rosy.