Philena Sun is sixteen years old and a rising senior at McLean High School. She has been with Dr. Lee for an awesome 5 years! With Dr. Lee’s teaching Philena has grown technically and musically. She has won numerous piano awards throughout the past couple years. She won the MSMTA ER Davis Competition in 2017, placed second in the MTNA Southern Division Duet competition in 2016 with her awesome duet partner, Grace Wang, and won second place in the NVMTA Robert Spencer Concerto competition in 2016. In March of this year, Philena had the opportunity to perform at the Alden Theatre as one of the winners of the Young Soloist Program. At school, Philena serves as one of her high school’s representatives to Student Advisory Council, a coalition high school students across Fairfax County Public Schools. Philena is also president of both math and chemistry tutoring clubs and her school’s DECA club Secretary. Additionally, she is on high school’s varsity swim team. She recently traveled to Anaheim California in April to attend the international DECA conference, where she advanced into the finals and was ranked among the top 20 internationally. A few weeks ago, Philena was honored as her school’s Student of the Year by the school administration. Other than school and piano, Philena loves reading, watching movies (especially animation– don’t judge) and traveling. She also obsesses over figure skating (especially singles and ice dancing) and cannot wait for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. When she was in California for the DECA conference, she snuck out to watch a figure skating training session (don’t try this at home, kids) under the famous Rafael Arutyunyan, who is currently coaching a few Olympic hopefuls for next season. In general, Philena is always looking for a thrilling adventure, which probably explains her love of roller coasters and her desire to go skydiving one day.
Emily Quan, 2017 Music Teachers National Association Southern Division High School Alternate, has been a student of Marjorie Lee since the age of 5. She is a 16 year old junior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. She has performed at the American Embassy in Beijing, China, and the Hungarian Embassy in Washington, D.C. This year she performed the Beethoven Concerto No. 4, and participated in the Virginia MTNA Solo and Duet Division,s the YMIC Competition, the NVMTA Ensemble Competition with two duet partners, and was the third place winner in the Northern Virginia Music Teachers Association Level 4 Achievement Competition.
She enjoys running varsity cross country, reading, rock climbing, and building robots as part of a FIRST TEch Challenge robotics team.
Jeffery Yu is 17 years old and a junior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and
Technology. He has played piano for 12 years, of which the last three years were with Dr. Lee. His highlight of this year was the winning the VMTA Concerto Competition. He was also a finalist in this year's Protsman Classical Period Piano Competition. In the past, he has also played the violin. Aside from music, he is an avid participant in math competitions and research, and also enjoys physics and computer science.
Grace Wang, 16, is a rising senior in the IB program at Richard Montgomery High School. She has been with Dr. Lee for the past seven years, and has enjoyed every moment - even the technique parts! This year, she was named a National YoungArts Foundation Merit Winner. She has also been the winner of the high school division of the 2016 Knabe International Competition and was one of the 2016 National Symphony Orchestra Young Soloist Finalists. This past summer, Grace had the opportunity to attend the Tanglewood Institute and work with some amazing professors such as Boaz Sharon on her solo repertoire and musicianship, as well as work with members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in chamber music. She was also invited back to Tanglewood to perform in the 50th anniversary concert with other selected alumni of the program. Outside of piano, Grace is also very active in her school and community. She is currently debate captain, the Undersecretariat General for her school's Varsity Model UN team, an editor for her school newspaper, and Vice President of her school's DECA team. She has placed in numerous debate tournaments, both locally and nationally. In addition, she has been a winner at numerous Model United Nations conferences, such as the North American Invitational Model United Nations conference, Johns Hopkins University's Model United Nations conference, and the University of Virginia's Model United Nations conference. Her work in the student newspaper was recently awarded the 2017 Columbia Scholastic Press Association's gold medal. She also had the opportunity to travel to Anaheim, California to compete in DECA Internationals and was named an International finalist in her division. This summer, she is very excited to have the opportunity to travel to UMass-Amherst with Dr. Lee and other members of our studio to participate in workshops at the Alan Fraser Piano Institute.
Lynne is a junior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology. She has been studying piano with Dr. Lee for 4 years.
LYNNE is the 2016 YLDA NOVIK CONCERTO COMPETITION WINNER. She has also received awards in the Asian American Music Society competition, Hartman, and the Maryland State Music Teachers Concerto competitions. This past summer she participated in masterclasses with John O’Conor and Andre Laplante at the Adamant Music School. She will perform the Grieg concerto with the Capital City Symphony this fall as the winner of the Novik Concerto Competition. Other than piano, she runs cross country and enjoys traveling.
Aili is a 15-year-old bright and outgoing sophomore student at Stone Bridge High School. She is a straight A student, a sophomore class officer, a member of the National French Honor Society, and a President’s Award winner. She is an avid dancer who is skilled at and loves ballet (especially en pointe), jazz, and lyrical. She has been playing piano since the age of 6 and has many achievements, the latest including the WMTA 2017 Hartman Competition third place and Sonata Festival Honors Recital. Aili has a strong passion for learning foreign languages. She takes both French and Spanish at school and gets 100% in both! In her spare time, she is actively involved in community service, such as tutoring young kids and volunteering at homeless shelters. At home, she has a pet guinea pig named Bubbles. He’s the size of a football!
Ella Kim, 9 years old, started playing the piano at the age of 4 and has been been winner of local and international competitions. At the age of 7, Ella won first prize in the 30th Annual International Young Artist Piano Competition (IYAPC), the American Fine Arts Festival (AFAF) Golden Era of Romantic Music International Competition, the Virginia State District Competition, and the Virginia State Competition. In 2016, Ella was awarded first prize at the Washington Music Teachers Association (WMTA) bi-annual Bartok Competition, first prize at the WMTA Viola Hartman Piano Performance Awards, second prize at the Northern Virginia Music Teachers Association (NVMTA) Robert Spencer Piano Competition, and second prize at the NVMTA Achievement Awards. Most recently, Ella won first prize at the Steinway & Sons Washington DC Piano Competition and second prize at the NVMTA Robert Spencer Piano Concerto Competition. Ella has performed at the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, the Hungarian Embassy, and the residence of the Polish Ambassador. Apart from music, Ella enjoys playing tennis, drawing, swimming, and spending time with her younger siblings.
Michelle Yue is a junior in the International Baccalaureate program at Princess Anne High School (located in Virginia Beach). There, she is a starter for the varsity tennis team and an active student leader holding positions such as President of the Class of 2019. This past year was Michele’s first year studying with Dr. Lee, and she has participated and placed in the NVMTA Concerto Festival, the MSMTA Solo Festival, and the ODU Classical Piano Competition. In past years, as a student of Josephine Jones, Michelle has placed in the ODU Classical Piano Competition five times as well as received the Helen and Warren Aleck Award for Most Promising Overall Performance. In addition to playing piano, Michelle also loves to read, paint, sing, and travel.
Hi everyone, my name is Eric Lin. I am sixteen years old and cannot wait for my senior year at Thomas Jefferson High School! I particularly love learning and performing concertos -- recently, I have been captivated by the beautiful nuances of Rachmaninoff’s Second Concerto. I have been studying with Dr. Lee since when I moved to Virginia in 2012 and am sincerely grateful for all the opportunities she has made possible. I will never forget the euphoric feeling of performing at the Polish Embassy, Kennedy Center Concert Hall with the National Symphony Orchestra, Atlas Performing Arts Center with the Capital City Symphony, and countless other venues.
Michelle was born in Sep 2007. She began piano lessons at age five from Mei-Yu Lin. Michelle transferred to Dr. Lee’s piano studio this summer. After three years study, Michelle felt the beauty of music and loves to play piano. Besides playing piano, Michelle also likes reading, dance, drawing, swimming, and chess et.al. She loves to make friends and play with friends.
As a student of Mei-Yu Lin, Michelle
won first place in the Prince George's Music Teachers Association Broad Creek Festival, GL Henri Carol Scholarship Competition, Maryland State Music Teachers Solo Competition, and second place in the MSMTA Gottlieb Scholarship Competition.
Andrew Zhang is thirteen years old, currently an 8th grader at Kilmer Middle School in northern Virginia. He was accepted by the Thomas Jefferson High School of Science and Technology in March after vigorous exams.
Andrew started playing the piano when he was five and has been a student of Dr. Marjorie Lee’s since age six. Andrew loves music because he thinks that music is a combination of art and math. It always amazes him to see how Bach and Mozart put their musical ideas into precise mathematical forms.
Andrew loves practicing and enjoys performing for the public. In the past seven years, he has participated in numerous piano competitions in the Washington metropolitan area and won many of them, including the Russian Music Competition, Bartok Competition, Concerto Competition/Festival, judged recitals and district auditions, Young Musician International Competition (YMIC), duet competitions, MSMTA Solo Piano Competition, International Young Artist Piano Competition, and Achievement Awards. He represented the District of Columbia in the National Music Teachers Association’s Competition held in New Jersey in January 2016.
He has performed at the George Mason University’s Performing Art Center and the Alden Theater in McLean. One memorable experience was that he played with Lang Lang and another 100 budding pianists in the Kennedy Center in November 2012.
Andrew has finished the highest level of sight reading exam, and passed level 10 (the highest being level 12) of music theory exam with excellent scores.
Currently, Andrew is a member of Kilmer Middle School’s advanced choir, and also serves as its piano accompanist. Last year, he received the only “Outstanding Accompanist” award in Hershey Park in a ten-school choir competition. On May 5, 2017, he again won the “Outstanding Accompanist” award in a regional choir competition in Busch Gardens. He is very proud that his music talent is serving his school community!
Hi, I'm Joanna Cheng, and I'm a eighth grader in Rachel Carson Middle School in Fairfax County, Virginia. I've studied piano with Dr. Lee for almost 8 years now and I really enjoy my piano lessons. I especially like learning new pieces! Some of my favorite composers are Debussy, Liszt, and Schumann. I received honors in a NVMTA Judged Recital and WMTA Judged Recital and was invited to play at the 2017 GMU Young Artist Musicale. I was chosen to play in the Bach Festival Honors Recital. I also received 2nd place in the 2016 WMTA Viola Hartman Awards. I was awarded 3rd place for the NVMTA Robert Spencer Concerto Competition. In the MSMTA Gottlieb Competition, I got 1st place. I enjoy practicing piano every day. I have a younger brother named Joshua and I play and talk with him a lot. I love to read novels and other non-fiction books. I like playing Rubik's Cubes. I participate youth group at church, do Bible study, and go to church to worship on Sundays. During the weekends I take art class, play tennis, swim, and learn Chinese.
Rolina Qu is thirteen years old and will be an eighth grader at Kilmer Middle School in the fall of 2017. She has been studying piano with Dr. Lee for almost four years and has won 2nd place in MSMTA Solo Competition this year. In other years, she has won 1st place in the NVMTA Piano Ensemble, the NVMTA Concerto Festival for 2nd place, and NVMTA Sonata Festival 2nd Round Honors. She has also consistently participated in Guild Auditions for three years, along with various other competitions. She also participates in her school’s orchestra as a cello. Other than piano, Rolina enjoys reading, art, travel, sleepovers, and food.
Hi, my name is Sophia Lin. I’m a rising fifth grader at Haycock Elementary School. I am ten years old. This is my third year in Dr. Lee’s studio. I enjoy Dr. Lee’s sense of humor, her good jokes, and her style of teaching the art of piano. Dr. Lee was the first person to introduce me to the beauty of music, not just quickly summarize it for me. When I first started piano, I always thought piano means moving your hands and pressing them down on black and white keys that covered in plastic. But piano and music is much more. It is the dance of the fingers, the control of the body and mind, the art of the soul. I love playing pieces by Chopin, Bartok and Debussy. I enjoy reading in my free time and visiting Pottermore, a website created by Joanne Rowling or J K. Rowling , the author of Harry Potter. I also enjoy swimming and ballet, as well as my pre-algebra class . I’ve currently won three medals in Science Olympiad. I expect a great year!
My name is Tan Nguyen and I will be in eighth grade next year. My mom teaches me and my two brothers at home. I learned to play the piano when I was 6 years old and I have been playing ever since. I have many interests outside of music. I play basketball in a league and I compete in chess tournaments regularly. My favorite chess format is 10 second hyper bullet chess. I also love fishing and try to fish as much as I can in the summertime
I am eleven years old and will be a seventh grader at St. Albans in the fall.
I have participated in competitions organized by WMTA, MSNTA, NVMTA, etc and I won several awards. I feel very excited because I was able to be at the YouTube Space in NYC recording a music video with other kids that soon will be released by From The Top.
It has been couple of months that I discover a new hobby that I enjoy a lot Rubik's Cube!!! I am challenging my self at solving all kinds of Rubik's cubes, if I keep beating up my records and improving my times to solve them I would like to go to a Rubik's Cube competition, but first I want to get better!
I also like math and I looove science, I was very lucky to have a cool science teacher this year I am really going to miss him. I swim with my team Potomac Marlins, but next year I wanted to try something new like soccer or
I am seven years old, and I am in the first grade of Cedar Grove Elementary School. I began to take piano class from Marjorie Lee over two years ago. From her, I learned a lot. I like to play the piano pieces composed by Beethoven, Bach and Chopin. Besides piano, I also like drawing, swimming, hockey, soccer, basketball, tennis and baseball. Hockey, soccer and basketball are my favorite sports. I play hockey in Mites hockey team in Montgomery Youth Hockey Association. This year, I was selected to the RMSC swimming team.
My name is James Bennett. I will go to James Madison High School in the fall. I have studied with Dr. Lee for over 3 years. This year was another great learning experience. I studied many pieces this year of many different composers, including Ravel, Rachmaninoff, Grieg, Beethoven, Chopin, Scarlatti and Mendelsohn. My favorite was Grieg because of his programmatic music, which tells a great story that is open to interpretation. This year I accompanied string players at the Solo and Ensemble festival. In my free time I like to play video games , improvise on the piano and hang out with friends. A fun fact about my family is that one of my ancestors was supposedly a conductor of a military band in Czarist Russia! I hope to stay with Dr. Lee and continue to develop my passion and love for music so I can spread the joy of music to others and show them the hard work I put into it.
Nicole Ashley Chin
My name is Nicole Chin. I am 11 years old, a rising 6th grader in the AAP (Advanced Academics Program). The name of my school is Keene Mill Elementary in West Springfield. I have been in Dr. Lee’s studio for over 6 years now. It was the day after my 5th birthday that I started my first lesson. Dr. Lee is a great piano teacher and over those 6 years I have learned so much. In the beginning I didn’t enjoy piano very much. After a few years I started to enjoy it more, and now love to play the piano and appreciate all kinds of music. We have an annual subscription to the NSO each year. Even my father has learned to enjoy classical. My father says I still have a long way to go to really appreciate what I can achieve if I can really apply myself. My knowledge of piano made it easier for me to play the violin. I joined the school's strings orchestra last year. Once you learn one instrument playing another won’t be as difficult, especially when you can read music and know something about theory. When I am not playing piano at home I play tennis, the Wii game player, and learn cooking with my mom. I can make French toast, garlic bread, egg drop soup, and some other things from scratch. Playing fetch with my Bichon Frise, Teddy, who shares the same St. Patrick's Day birthday with me gives me a good workout too. We are exactly ten years apart in age. It was destiny which brought us together. I also play basketball, soccer, and football at school with my many friends. At heart I am a social butterfly.
Solomon Joshua Duane, is a 10th grade high honors student at Norfolk Academy and is passionate about music, academics, Saint Benedict's altar boy service and film. Solomon loves swimming, sailing and crew.
He is interested in conducting orchestra, and merging music, film and technology in "Total" Theater. He is using his musical expertise to develop wonderful sound scores for his films and often uses his stories to inspire his music compositions.
Solomon has been a student of Ms. Elizabeth McGinnis Sjolund ofor seven years, and has won numerous awards for his piano performance during that time. He also plays violin, and sings in his school choir where he has been twice accepted to All District Choir. Solomon won second place in the 2015 Chesapeake Fine Arts "Arts Alive" grant competition.