Sophomore Ella Kim makes it into All Nationals


Kim's father, Howard Kim

Ella Kim with her violin.

Divya and Grace, Staff Writer and Photo Editor

At the age of five, sophomore Ella Kim began her passion of playing the violin. Since then she has participated in competitions throughout her musical journey, now reaching another level of success by being accepted into the 2020 All National Honor Ensembles. 

All Nationals is a music festival hosted by NAfME which is short for the National Association for music education. It’s a festival for high school musicians around the country. There are six different ensembles, and I participated in the symphony orchestra,” Kim stated.

Kim’s journey for reaching this achievement began with the local Eastern Senior District Festival, moving onto All States, and finally All Nationals. Kim is excited to take part in this very selective music group.

I think around 500 students are in all the ensembles around the country and maybe 150 in the orchestra. It was so inspiring to be surrounded by others who are as passionate at music as I am,” Kim said.

Music Director Christopher Memoli is delighted by Kim’s acceptance into this selective music group.

“There were four kids from Massachusetts in the orchestra. It’s epic. It’s an amazing, really an amazing accomplishment. I think it just represents lots and lots of hours of practicing and dedication,” Memoli exclaimed.

To accomplish this goal, Kim practiced regularly to perfect the audition pieces—a required etude and a piece of choice. Additionally, Kim was guided by her private music teacher Peter Zazofsky.

I try to practice around two hours every day. It’s a lot but it goes by quickly because I love to learn new music. I have a really amazing private teacher who I’m really thankful for helping me to expand or to get a deeper understanding and connect with music more,” Kim exclaimed.

Moreover, All Nationals was different this year due to the pandemic as students were not able to make the traditional visit to Orlando, Florida and Disney World, but All Nationals switched to an online platform and was able to provide students with inspiring guest speakers and master classes with professional musicians. 

The reason Kim began playing the violin stemmed from her family being deeply involved in music.  

I’ve always been surrounded by music. Both my mom and my grandma play music. They play violin and piano. So, I was inspired by them, listening to them play all the time,” Kim said.

Although Kim was younger than other auditioners, Kim’s dedication allowed her to receive this honor.

“Most of the students we’ve had accepted have been older, but Ella’s extraordinary. This year she’s one of the finest violinists to ever come through here. In addition to an amazing violin player, she’s probably one of the most courteous, nicest students I’ve encountered as well,” Memoli stated.

Memoli understands the difficulty of the audition process for All Nationals and is very proud of auditionees.

These kids have worked very, very hard to accomplish these goals, and you can’t minimize that. It’s an impressive accomplishment and a little bit awe inspiring to create such a perfect recording that you’re the one selected,” Memoli said. 

In addition to being a talented and accomplished musician, Kim is an inspiring role model for other classmates.

It’s important to have role models and she is one. I think when you have role models like that, then I think it inspires the next generation to say well if Ella did it then maybe I can do it,” Memoli mentioned. 

Furthermore, Kim is involved in other orchestras and enjoys playing with peers.

“School orchestra has been a really fun opportunity to be able to play with other people. I do another orchestra outside of school and it’s so nice to be able to be surrounded by other people who are also passionate about music, and everyone was super supportive throughout this whole process of All Nationals,” Kim exclaimed.

Kim is deeply grateful for the support and guidance of her teachers.

“I’m so thankful for the guidance and support of everyone through this process especially Mr. Memoli for being the one to introduce me to this amazing opportunity,” Kim said. 

Looking into the future, Kim hopes to participate in this audition next year and is excited to further her musical studies. 

“Everything’s so different now, but if I’m able to, it was such an amazing experience and I definitely want to do it again. I know that music will always be an important part of my life,” Kim stated.