Nicke Yu & Sunny Han: “Expect a wonderful experience and no regrets.”

Seniors Sunny Han & Nicke Yu are this year's orchestra concertmasters. Photo by Darwin Tse.
Seniors Sunny Han & Nicke Yu are this year’s orchestra concertmasters. Photo by Darwin Tse.

Q: Tell us about some of the things that we can expect from Peter Pan.
Nicke: Wonderful music, Thimbles, Pirates, and much more!
Sunny: Expect a wonderful experience and no regrets.

Q: What makes Peter Pan different from other events and performances that you had participated in the past?
Nicke: Compared to the previous two musicals I’ve participated in, Peter Pan feels a bit longer because of all the different numbers we had to practice for. Compared to the general concerts, the attention is not on the orchestra, but on the actors. I think we provide the music that completes the play, which really then evolves into a musical.
Sunny: In general, musicals are quite different from regular concerts and performances. Concerts call for many hours of rehearsal, but musicals call for intense late night rehearsals that cause much more sleeping in class. In musicals, the orchestra also needs to time the music and sound effects to the script, which is pretty difficult. But musicals are so much more fun than regular concerts. Peter Pan isn’t my first musical, but it’s my favorite. It’s also the longest of the ones I’ve played in, with around sixty numbers.

Q: Tell us about how you started to have an interest in playing an instrument. Was there anything that motivated you in particular?
Sunny: Violin is actually not my first instrument– piano is. I was forced to take piano lessons since I was in second grade. One day, I was waiting for my mom after my piano lesson when I heard a violinist playing in the class next door. She played so beautifully that I wanted to play the violin myself. That violinist ended up becoming my violin teacher.
Nicke: In 3rd grade there was a mandatory music program for us to take. We learned different instruments like the ukulele, violin, and drums. At the time I really liked playing the drums, but later drifted to playing the violin because of my older twin sisters. My sisters influenced me the most because I used to mimic and follow whatever they did. When they picked up the violin, so did I.

Q: What was the hardest thing for you to adjust to when you first started joining the school orchestra?
Sunny: Watching the conductor is basically one of the most important things you to do when you’re in an orchestra. Because it was my first time in an orchestra, it took a while to learn how to play while periodically glancing at Dr. Bartlett.
Nicke: The schedule because we leave an hour later than everyone else. On collaboration days, we have an extra hour until rehearsal at 2:45. This makes it hard to balance school work and sports.

Seniors Sunny Han & Nicke Yu practicing during rehearsal. Photo by Darwin Tse.
Seniors Sunny Han & Nicke Yu practicing during rehearsal. Photo by Darwin Tse.

Q: What are some of your plans when you reach college? Do you find yourself in wanting to participate in similar activities as you did in high school?
Sunny: I mainly want to focus on studying for my major, but I also plan to join some clubs and possibly the school orchestra.
Nicke: While I enjoy playing the violin, learning some other instruments might be a nice change of pace. I also want to keep running in my spare time and joining a college orchestra doesn’t sound like a bad idea.

Q: How does it feel to be a part of the school’s orchestra as concert master/ mistress? What are some of your responsibilities?
Nicke: It feels almost like a dream because my sister has been in this position before. I was a 2nd violinist when my sister was concert mistress, so being the concert master today is just an incredible opportunity. Sometimes as section leader, I have to make sure my section can play all music with ease and correct any mistakes they might make.
Sunny: Being concertmistress is quite an honor. As section leader, I try to correct intonation or rhythmic mistakes or suggest different ways of shaping a phrase. I’m also responsible for trying not to freak out when I play a solo.

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