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Student Spotlight: Brandon Chin

Category: BMS NEWS Wednesday, December 4th, 2013 Brandon Chin_webpost

Twelve-year-old BMS cello student of Nara Shahbazyan, Brandon Chin, has been studying music for seven years. Brandon began taking cello lessons at age 5 with BMS Faculty Alumna Irina Chirkova for two years and has been studying with Nara since 2009.

His family has been a source of inspiration; they each play different instruments. “My family thought I should take cello,” Brandon commented. His two older sisters, ages 17 and 19, play piano and violin, and younger brother, age 10, plays viola. Their father used to play violin and the family enjoys talking about music and orchestras around the dinner table.

Brandon performs in front of live audiences often at BMS and through the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra (BYSO) and Youth & Muse Boston International Summer Music Festival. “I got used to the nerves over time. I like to perform in front of audiences now,” Brandon remarked. It is sometimes his choice to perform at live performances or the family will encourage him to play a piece. Brandon also participated in the BMS 2013 strings competition. He said he was nervous but it felt like an accomplishment when the competition was over.

Brandon is in the Junior Repertory Orchestra at the BYSO. The Junior Repertory Orchestra presents four concerts a year, including a performance at Symphony Hall. “It’s very fun listening to the different parts,” Brandon explained, “and playing at Symphony Hall felt so great.” Brandon’s goal is to get to the top level at the BYSO. “The players are amazing. If I get there I will feel really good and that will be a great accomplishment,” Brandon concluded.

Family and composers are sources of Brendan’s motivation, but the music itself is above all, the most inspiring. “I really like music. It’s a big part of my life. I’m attached to music. If I feel bad, music will help me express myself,” Brandon remarked. He enjoys playing the slow parts within a piece of music, and said he connects to the slowest parts of Mendelssohn’s “Song Without Words.” Brandon is inspired by the music of Yo-Yo Ma. He has listened to a lot of his music and thinks he is amazing. “If I could be as half as good as he is, that would be great too,” Brandon admitted. His older sister Stephanie is another source of encouragement. She has experience with orchestral music and helps Brandon with rhythm when he needs guidance.

Brandon has been practicing Kung Fu and gymnastics for the past seven years. He competes in tournaments and is always working on new gymnastics tricks. Brandon enjoys taking lessons at Brookline Music School and appreciates his instructor. “Nara is a great teacher, she is nice about giving corrections. I trust her and have been with her for a long time,” explained Brandon, “I love to perform here. It’s a very nice community.”

by Hollie Fleming