Artist of the Week: Sera Chang

By Andrea Yu 
NEWS Arts Editor


era Chang is the concertmistress of Mercersburg’s Strings ensemble. She is a ninth grader and leads her fellow musicians with her years of experience as a violinist. She successfully performed multiple solos at the recent Spring Music Concert. Her passion and knowledge in violin makes her an outstanding artist in the Mercersburg community.

Mercersburg News: Can you tell us about your background as a violinist?

Sera Chang: I started playing violin when I was seven. Before then, I played piano, and I sucked at it. The part of combining both hands, that was impossible for me. The academy I went to was for people who played piano and violin, and when I was playing piano I heard someone playing violin, and I noticed that this was mine. When I went to elementary school was when I learned how to play violin. When I was younger I don’t think I really loved playing violin, but now I really do. When you’re watching movies and dramas, I listen for the songs. When I think a song’s really good, I find the sheet music. When I’m watching things, mostly anime, I find music that is really good, like openings. [Violin] got better when I combined my two hobbies, and it made me like violin more than I originally did.

MN: What’s your favorite thing about playing violin?

SC: When you’re watching dramas and anime and movies, and not only focus on actors and how they act, but also music and theme songs, it’s really nice. You can find the sheet music from them and play it. I think that’s the best part about music, combining two things that I like to do.

MN: What is being in Strings like for you?

SC: We meet every Tuesday and Thursday. I think a lot of people notice how our school doesn’t have an orchestra. We only have Band, Jazz Band, and Strings, and they’re all separated. Many people thought of making some sort of orchestra and combining the music. When you combine instruments, it’s better. You can have more choices of making music, so we made Orchestra Club. Mr. Morgan is supervising it.

MN: What do you like about the group?

SC: I like playing solo songs. It’s easier for me; I only have to focus on myself. In Strings, different people come here and we all play together. That’s the difficult part. I like how we have more choices in songs. Music sounds better when it’s in unison. I think that’s what I like about Strings.

MN: How much do you practice?

SC: I usually go to weekends and play things I like. I play really classical things, like Beethoven. I practice both of them. I also take lessons here.

MN: Do you have a favorite piece to play?

SC: I have many. I should’ve brought my music file so I can go over them. Oh wait, I do have one. It’s the two Hungarian dances. I really like this song, the reason is kind of funny. I won the first place with this song. That’s a really simple reason. I usually was always in second place. Second place people always think how we could do a little better and get first place. I won my first first place with this song, so that’s why I like this song.

MN: What is it like being concertmistress?

SC: I like concertmaster better actually, it sounds more mysterious. I think it requires a lot of responsibility for obvious reasons. I was concertmistress in my old school in my old orchestra, but we had two concerts mistresses. In that case I backed off, because there was a girl who was more experienced than me, so I wasn’t really as responsible. Here, officially, this is my first time being a concertmistress. I was really glad when I heard from Mr. Cameron that he wanted me to be concertmistress. It’s easier for me to lead people in front so they can look at me and follow me. In most cases, I’m not the leader, I’m a follower. When it comes to music, my potential in leadership comes out.

MN: Do you have any plans in the future for violin?

SC: My future dream is being a lawyer. My violin teacher in Korea is a conductor of the orchestra for lawyers. That orchestra is only for lawyers. She promised she’d let me be concertmistress of that orchestra. So that’s kind of my ultimate dream, to be concertmistress of the lawyers orchestra.

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