By Janelle Hamre '11
Seoyon Susanna Lim ’13 and Christine Park ’11 both traveled international paths before becoming music majors with a piano emphasis at Northwestern. And after entering the music department, each has found joy and excellence in her musical education.
Lim, who was born in Seoul, Korea (and is more recently from Almaty, Kazakhstan), was trained in the fine arts from a young age. Her parents encouraged lessons in piano, violin and a traditional Korean instrument called the komungo, among other pursuits.
Reflecting back, Lim noted that the educational philosophy was very different in her Russian music school than it is at Northwestern. “I began to lose joy in music among endless discipline and sacrifices. On the other hand, Northwestern calls students to perform for the glory of God at all times.”
Lim’s rediscovered musical joy is accompanied by excellence. She recently won the Concerto portion of the Concerto-Aria Competition 2010 and performed the third movement of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No 3. in C minor, Op. 37 with the NWC Orchestra on March 1.
Park also participated in the Concerto-Aria Competition, receiving honorable mention in the Concerto portion. Surprised by receiving the award in the midst of a stressful part of the academic year, she said, “To me, it was like a graduation present from God.”
Park grew up in South Korea and Turkey, began piano lessons at age seven and followed the footsteps of a friend to Northwestern. After graduating, she plans to continue as a music educator. While developing musical and teaching skills at Northwestern and through the Academy of Music, she has deepened her understanding of the relationship between music and the glory of God.
“NWC awakened my realization of the Creator of music to which I play and sing,” said Park. “God gave us the gift of music; therefore, we ought to give it back to Him with the best of its beauty and artistry. He deserves our best.”