The Oracle

Ahn takes a bow, named ILMEA concertmaster

Dani Tuchman

VIOLIN VIRTUOSO: As senior Daniel Ahn pulls his bow across the strings of his violin, he continues his daily routine of practicing his art of music. Ahn practices one hour each day and attributes this determination to helping him being named concermaster of ILMEA, a spot that 200 other violinists competed for.

Mollie Cramer, staff writer

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Students pass multiple football players, debaters and swimmers in the hallways of South. They have also passed at one time or another the newly-named two-time Illinois Music Education Association (ILMEA) orchestra concertmaster, senior Daniel Ahn.

Ahn was chosen to be concertmaster of ILMEA, a leader of the orchestra selected through auditions out of 200 violinists. According to Glenbrook Symphony Orchestra (GSO) conductor Kristin Meyer, it’s a tremendous honor, and Ahn is someone who she always expects to excel.

“Daniel’s just exceptional in every way; he’s very creative and artistic,” Meyer said. “It’s his love of the music combined with his natural abilities…that elevate him to something like [concertmaster].”

Ahn thinks that he was named concertmaster as a result of his hard work and commitment. He’s gotten as much out of the experience as he has put into it, he said.

“I think I take on an interesting leadership role as concertmaster; everyone’s trying their best but they still look towards the concertmaster for leadership,” Ahn said. “I think that that leadership role has really helped me develop the sense that I wanted to become more of a leader in my life.”

According to junior Demetri Maroutsos, fellow GSO member, Ahn’s leadership and musical ability has been recognized by ILMEA but is continually shown in GSO.

“For one of our concerts he had a solo, and the first time we heard him play in practice, literally the whole orchestra was speechless,” Maroutsos said. “No one was focusing on playing their own parts. They were all listening to Daniel.”

Ahn said that music has been a part of his life forever, and he tries to convey his passion to the audience whenever he performs.

“I love performing for the audience and trying to express that music is great, music is timeless,” Ahn said. “I want [the audience] to have an appreciation for the music that we’re playing. Any type of music is definitely worth appreciating, and we spend a lot of time and effort practicing, so I hope that what we play and convey through our music helps them appreciate it more.”

Daniel Chung, freshman orchestra member, said that Ahn also tries to convey his passion for music to the other students in the orchestra and is viewed as a role model by many students.

“I try to practice more often so I can be like him,” Chung said. “He’s passionate about orchestra, so he really influences other people.”

According to violin instructor Julie Fischer, Ahn is extremely talented but also interested in furthering himself musically.

“I’ll introduce a new topic and he’ll really get it and be inspired by it, so it seems like there’s something every time that makes the lesson a stepping stone to something else,” Fischer said. “Each time I feel like he’s putting his whole heart and mind into it and trying to get everything out of everything I tell him.”

According to Ahn, a lot of things in his life relate back to his musical education, including his interest in pursuing science in college.

“I think there’s a connection between my interest in science and music, especially with molecular biology,” Ahn said. “That helped me develop [the] idea that I need to look not in the big picture only but in the small picture as well and understand the connections.”

In addition, Ahn said that his musical education factors into his life choices and personality.

“I think I have some strong holds on how I should approach music, and I think that that definitely translates into how I view life sometimes and how I make my life choices,” Ahn said. “So it’s hard to imagine where I’d be without the violin because it’s such an integral part to my life.”

Ahn was also named 3rd Chair Violin at ILMEA All-State held from Jan. 23-26.

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Ahn takes a bow, named ILMEA concertmaster