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The Wingspan

The Wingspan

A Fantasy or a Dream Come True?


Words: Ashley Berry

Photos: Izzie Chausse

On October 13, 2015, Lisa Choi will set a new precedent for Centennial High School. Choi, a senior at Centennial, is a flutist in the Wind Ensemble. “I am very proud to say that I am from the Centennial Wind Ensemble,” said Choi, but there is no better way to “go out with a bang” than to perform a ten to eleven minute solo for your community.

Choi will be performing Carmen Fantasy by Borne Bizet at the Centennial Wind Ensemble concert, directed by David Matchim. She said, “It is definitely an honor to perform with the best Wind Ensemble in Howard County.”

Matchim, the director of Centennial’s Wind Ensemble, said, “She is an amazing player but she is also a very sweet, funny, humble person. She is incredibly musical and she’s mature beyond her years.”

Growing up, Choi experienced a childhood full of music. At the age of six, she started playing the piano and in fourth grade, she picked up a flute for the first time, unaware of where it would take her. Choi said, “I didn’t know I was going on a musical path until this year. I decided that I am going to practice music [as a career]. I will be studying at a music conservatory [after high school].”

Choi has been studying at Peabody for six years, and she is currently studying under Dr. Rachel Choe at Peabody Preparatory. Peabody Preparatory is a premier community school for the performing arts. “To me, Peabody is my second home,” said Choi, “because of the environment created by people who take music really seriously.”

Formerly, Choi performed as a soloist with the Columbia Orchestra, the Howard County High School GT Orchestra, and the Peabody Youth Wing Orchestra. She has also performed in honor recitals at Peabody Preparatory. ­­Matchim said that at a solo performance in band class last year, “students stood up and clapped for her when she was done.”

In fall of 2014, Choi preformed Carmen Fantasy with the Peabody Youth Wing Orchestra for the first time for a concerto competition where she won first place. She then performed it a second time in a master class at Curtis, a music institute in Philadelphia, this past summer.

Due to her preparation and previous performances, Choi is not too anxious about the performance. “I think [performances for my] private instructor are more nerve-racking [than performances for my peers] because he/she knows what I am actually doing and can be [more] judgmental than my peers,” stated Choi.

“When I first received an email from Mr. Matchim earlier this summer about performing a solo with the wind ensemble, I was shocked. In the history of Centennial no one had had the opportunity to perform as a soloist,” said Choi.

When Matchim decided to have a soloist perform with the band, he knew whom he wanted to pick. “I think she’s very clearly a standout in the group to not just me, but to the students too. She’s going out and performing in other venues with other orchestras and ensembles. I felt that it was only appropriate that she gets the opportunity to do that here,” Matchim said.

Ecstatic to have the solo, Choi is thankful for everyone who has helped her in her path to success. She said, “A lot of people helped me get to where I am now, and it’s impossible to thank them enough for their care and love. I want to thank my parents for everything they have done for me and letting me become who I am now, my teachers who made my musical path possible and gave many opportunities to shine, and I want to thank Mr. Matchim for making this happen.”

The Wind Ensemble concert will be on October 13 at 7:00 p.m. Come to the auditorium at Centennial to support and listen to Lisa Choi, as well as Centennial’s Wind Ensemble.

There are no tickets for this concert, but there is a suggested donation of $5 per person, or $10 per family.


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