Saturday, February 19, 2011

Interview with Andrew Lee, winner of 2011 GDYO concerto competition

This is an interview with Andrew Lee, winner of the 2011 GDYO concerto competition. Andrew will be performing with the GDYO on March 6 at the Meyerson. For more information on the concert go to

How long have you played clarinet? I have played for exactly 5 years now (as of March 6, 2011)

How long have you been in GDYO? This year would be my fourth year in the program and second in the GDYO.

What other instruments do you play? I used to play some piano.

What is your favorite piece? I don't really have a favorite piece, but I'd have to say that Festive Overture would be one of the top ones.

What made you pick the Weber to play for the concerto competition? I felt like the Weber Concerto let me show both the dramatic and subtle capabilities of the clarinet, with dynamics ranging from the softest fading sections to climax points. Plus, I thought that the recurring melody sounded great.

Can you tell me anything interesting about your school? Jasper High School. Well, I guess there's nothing really too abnormal about it. Different people with different goals, so basically it's just a diverse center of learning.

Can you tell me anything interesting about your band? My band has had some of the more “legendary” players from the PISD area. For instance, Derek Hawkes went through Jasper, James Kendricks, Andres Olivero, etc. Also, one of our band directors composes our marching show each year, Mr. David Herring (A.K.A “The Famous Composer”)

What is like to study with your current clarinet teacher? I feel relaxed and active when I take lessons from Mr. Yi. His attitude about teaching always seems to be positive and overall, its enjoyable and enriching.

Do you have a favorite composer? Not any in particular. I think I just like any great work of music :)

What would you like to do for a profession? Do you plan to pursue a career in music? This question comes up from my friends as well. To be honest, I think it's too early for me to say, but as of now, I'm thinking either minoring in music or possibly double majoring with an undecided other profession.

Anyone you wish to thank? Yes. My father and mother for supporting me with a very nice instrument. I feel very grateful for the opportunity of playing on such a wonderful horn as well as my parents' support and encouragement when I have to compete. Also, thank you Mr. Yi for also being supportive as well as nice, understanding, and eager to help me improve. Thank you to Mrs. Iwasaki for being such a wonderful accompanist this year, and making playing with piano such an easier job. And finally, thank you to the GDYO itself for letting me have such an opportunity to be able to play in the Meyerson as a soloist as well as promoting the concert with tickets for my friends. This will be an unforgettable experience for me.

Do you have any funny Mr. G stories? Unfortunately, because I sit so far back, I can rarely ever hear his stories, but whenever he has one of those “Mr. G moments”, it always adds on to the experience of being in the GDYO.

What is your favorite thing about being in GDYO? My favorite thing(s) about GDYO would have to be the chance to play virtuoso pieces as well as pieces from different eras and composers. To be able to perform new music with a group as mature in music playing as the GDYO is quite a great opportunity. Also, I get to see some of my friends who go to other schools.

Can you tell me what it's like to win the GDYO concerto competition? Are you excited to be performing in the Meyerson as a soloist? I feel very lucky and honored to win the GDYO Competition. I have the mixed feelings including obvious joy, but a bit of surprise because the finalists this year all sounded amazing. As for the performance, I am very excited, but at the same time, very nervous. However, the experience would be more valuable than a perfect performance, so either way I'm looking forward to this.

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