WCI’s Grade 9 Charis Earns Solo Performance with KW Symphony

Charis H, a grade 9 at WCI, has already made her debut on a professional stage as a solo pianist.

Last Saturday, February 29th, Charis performed with the KW Symphony Concert at the Centre in the Square. Over 300 people, including some WCI students who came to support their friends in the orchestra, attended the two hour concert performed by players from all grades.

Charis, a bright grade 9 student who plays both the piano and the violin, is a part of the intermediate, senior, and senior chamber orchestras. She also recently passed the LRCM (the Licentiate Diploma), the highest level of The Royal Conservatory Certificate Program. The exam is evaluated as a professional concert performance. To obtain this diploma at such a young age is an exceptional achievement; it is undeniable that Charis’ musical skills are beyond impressive.

As a member of the KW Symphony youth orchestra for four years, Charis’s experience as a soloist is not unfamiliar, as she has previously played a solo part in grade 4 with the KW community orchestra for Kiwanis.

When asked about how she got her part as a soloist, Charis explained that the youth orchestra holds a concerto competition: “You play a song and audition to see if you can play with the orchestra. They pick who gets to be a part of it the next year.” The grade 9 student was chosen to play the difficult solo part for Chopin’s Rondo à la Krakowiak op. 14. She felt confident with the piece, as this is a song she has been practicing for a long time already outside of school.

In total, Charis’ performance along with the orchestra lasted over 13 minutes. She recounted feeling quite nervous beforehand, standing in the front of the stage; however, the feeling of excitement to play was just as big, if not stronger than the nervousness she felt. During the performance, Charis tried her best not to concentrate on a specific part of the music piece, as she worried she would forget everything else. Rather, she focused on playing with confidence and focused on enjoying the experience, even when she made a barely noticeable mistake at the very end. After the concert, Charis got to relax with her family at home.

Charis hopes to be a soloist again in the future. She would love to play Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 (third movement) and maybe Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21.

Charis has this advice for aspiring soloists: “Play for the fun of it; don’t stress too much!”