“My job is to walk across the stage without tripping and tune the orchestra. Ha ha! But seriously…”
Eugene Kim, Concertmaster, DCCO; Dupont Trio, DCCM; Violin and Piano
SYSTEMS INTEGRATION ENGINEER, UNCF, WASHINGTON, DC
FROM ARLINGTON, VA
How long have you been with DCCOS and how did you find us?
I joined the DCCO at the beginning for 2018, so about 2-1/2 years. I loved playing in orchestras as a student growing up, so I started looking around for local ensembles on Meetup when I found the DCCO.
You have recently become Concert Master for the Orchestra. Can you tell us a little about your roles and responsibilities?
My job is to walk across the stage without tripping and tune the orchestra. Ha ha! But seriously, I am responsible for marking bowings, leading sectional rehearsals, and playing solos. As the Concertmaster, I also work closely with Randall to help translate his ideas into technical terms for the orchestra.
When did you first learn to play the violin and what is your musical training? Do you play any other instruments?
I started playing the piano at age 6, and violin at age 11. I studied both up through 9th grade, but decided to focus on violin as my primary instrument. I attended the Cleveland Institute of Music for a year as a violin major before deciding to pursue a different path. I still enjoy playing the piano to this day.
Tell us a little about your day job. Any other musical activities?
I work as a Systems Engineer at a DC-based non-profit where I wear a lot of hats, but I primarily focus on integration, testing, and interoperability. Basically I’m a tech nerd. I also love to teach, and play in other ensembles like my rock cover band “Tres Minutos” and the Trans-Siberian orchestra.
What are a couple of the most important things your students need to learn about playing the violin?
One of the most critical things is the value of good practice technique. I often tell my students that it is better to practice for just 20 minutes using proper practice techniques (e.g. slowly in rhythms with a metronome) than simply running through a piece repeatedly for an hour. This backfires sometimes because the student will tell their parents I told them to practice for only 20 minutes.