Fine Arts Spotlight: Clarinetist Kevin Jin

May 2, 2023

Kevin Jin, 12, standing in front of the Eastman School of Music sign on his college visit.
Credit: Ivy Lee

Kevin Jin, 12, is a clarinetist of Mill Creek High School’s Band Program.

Jin has been playing the clarinet for six years and when asked why he decided to continue with music in college, he says, “I was a late bloomer compared to many successful musicians my age, however thanks to the help of the great teachers and music programs at school, I quickly grew a strong interest in music. To me, music became my escape from all the negatives around me.”

Jin, who has a 4.3 GPA, was accepted into The Eastman School of Music, the music school of the University of Rochester, on a full-ride scholarship worth about $320,000 total. Regarding his experience going to New York and getting accepted to the Eastman School of Music, Jin says, “I am beyond excited and proud to be able to learn and perform at the Eastman School of Music in the fall. Eastman is one of the world’s top music conservatories with a unique tie to the outstanding University of Rochester. The journey to be accepted and receive scholarships to Eastman was very long and stressful, filled with recordings, traveling, and long waits in the warm up rooms before my live auditions. I was super lucky to have been accepted to nine schools and received $1.5 million in total scholarships. This made my decision process less difficult and left many great options on the table.”

Kevin Jin has been a part of many performances while being a member of Mill Creek’s Band Program. When asked what his best memories of the program are, he says, “Playing the clarinet solo on “Blue Shades” by Frank Ticheli in 2022; this was one of the most exposed and daunting solos I’ve ever played in an ensemble.” Jin was asked how he felt when performs, he said, “A musician’s job is to be an entertainer to the audience. That makes performing for an audience the greatest joy in being a musician. During COVID-19, I did a handful of concerts with little to no audience; it made it hard to stay motivated. However, this year was huge for all performing groups, both professional and amateur, around the world due to the majority of groups fully opening up their concerts to the public.”

Jin says that he aims to be a musician for a living and play in a major symphony orchestra in the future. If he were to give any advice to any other high school students working towards their dreams, he says, “My biggest advice is to not follow stereotypes and expectations, whether that be based on gender, race, age, culture, and career path. No matter what decision you make, you will always disappoint someone. Don’t let the fear of failure and disappointment stop you from following your gut and pursuing something you love to do.”

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