In the Schools: ELHS student attends All Eastern Honors Music Festival

East Lyme High School senior Shauna Kim was the only student from eastern Connecticut and the first ever from ELHS be accepted to the All Eastern Honors Music Festival. The festival took place from April 4-7 and included top music students from the East Coast.

The festival, held in Pittsburgh, was created by the National Association for Music Education and is held every other year. The first three days consist of rehearsal, and on the last day the band gathers for final performances.

Kim was accepted based on her performance score from the 2018 All State competition, where she scored 240 points.

“She goes above and beyond. It is an honor for her to have this experience, since it is super rare for students to be able to attend the conference,” said East Lyme High School Band Director Angelica Fadrowski.

For three months leading up to the festival, Kim rehearsed assigned songs titled “Lincoln Posy, October” and “Circus Bee.” To prepare for her final performance, Kim practiced with her conductor and band for up to eight hours each day.

“The festival taught me how crucial collaboration and self discipline are. It’s tough to sit and rehearse for hours playing the same section over until the conductor is satisfied with it,” said Kim.

The band played a mix of upbeat march songs with slower waltz pieces, showing their ability to play all dynamics. Besides performing, Kim attended Pittsburgh Symphony, Navy Band, All East Jazz and All East Choir shows.

“I love music. What I like most about these festivals is meeting other musicians. Music has helped me learn from other musicians and create friendships that last a long time,” said Kim.

Kim has been playing clarinet for eight years and has also attended Eastern Regions, All States and the New England Music Festival.

“Shauna is a great person to be around in class. She’s funny, hard-working and talented, making her the most deserving to be accepted into this band out of all the people in class. This is a great achievement and I am very proud of her,” said junior Dan Allard.

Inspired by her mother, who played the piano, and two sisters who play the cello and piano, Kim has a consistent practice routine despite her busy school schedule.

“Sometimes when I have homework and tests to study for, I have to practice at midnight or one in the morning. I think by going to this festival, those tough nights have paid off,” Kim said.

Kim plans to continue music and research in the S.T.E.M. field at Colby College in Maine.

“I was so honored to attend this festival and am proud of my accomplishments with music so far,” said Kim.

Julia Walker is a journalism student at East Lyme High School.

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