Coming to Toronto has proven beneficial to student flautist Erin Yoonyoung Jeong.
The 12-year-old moved with her family to Davisville from British Columbia two years ago, and took up classes with Kathleen Rudolph at the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music. Her first Royal Conservatory of Music medal came last year, when she scored 99 percent on the theory portion of her Grade 5 test, and 94 percent on her practical.
She had won a gold medal on her Grade 4 test three years ago at the Vancouver Academy of Music.
The shy, ever-so-modest Hodgson Senior Public School student was calm in her Mt. Pleasant and Davisville area home during a mid-February interview.
Jeong admitted she was not quick to react when she was awarded the medal a month ago.
“I wasn’t that surprised, because it was my second time getting it,” she commented.
She’s been playing the flute since age 7, waiting an extra year to pick up an instrument in her musical family. Twin brother Dale started playing the cello when he was 6. Their youngest sibling, Yoona, has just started to play the violin.
The twins do perform for family, Erin notes. Her brother, listening to the conversation, politely nods in agreement.
Erin practises two hours a day, five days a week, depending on whether she has competitions coming up or new songs to learn.
“It’s not easy practicing, but when I actually achieve what I wanted it’s really good,” she said. “I always like the sound of the flute.”
She enjoys playing Johann Stamitz’s sonatas for flutes, and the competitions that come with her time with the Royal Conservatory.
When she’s not tied up with all the brass, she’s busy reading. Her favourite books are The Hunger Games and the Harry Potter series.
As for the future, Jeong said she is unsure of what she wants to be, but she’s at peace with ending her flute lessons by the conservatory’s Grade 8 or 9 level.
“I don’t want to be a flautist when I grow up,” she admitted. “I just want to play in local communities or orchestras or play in churches.”