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May 08, 2023

On Stage at Alice Tully Hall! AHA Musicians Make the Grade

Five devoted instrumental musicians from the Academy of the Holy Angels spent May 4 performing at the 39th Annual Young Musicians Concert. The event was held at Alice Tully Hall in New York City.


Flutist Sooah Jeon (’26) of Cresskill and violinist Hyerin “Ella” Eom (’24) of Palisades Park presented Hoffmeister’s “Duet for Flute and Violin in G Major, Mvmt. 1.” Eom also performed with violinist Hankyoung “Linda” Chang (’26) of Edgewater, violist Faith Youn (’23) of Closter, and cellist Brianna Kim (’26) of Cresskill. This quartet presented Dvorak’s “String Quartet No. 12 in F Major, Op. 96, Mvmt. 1.”


AHA Orchestra Director Andrew Monticello filed applications with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in January, and AHA’s two ensembles were subsequently selected for the Young Musicians of New Jersey Regional Concert. The Academy’s instrumentalists were among the few invited to appear in New York with peers from New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and Delaware. 


“I had a great time collaborating with everyone from my chamber members to those participating from other schools and the Chamber Music Society residents,” Faith Youn said of her experience. “I think it is incredible that we were among the best school-sponsored chamber groups in the tristate area, and listening to all the other groups perform was an experience in itself. I truly had a memorable time, and I would like to thank my chamber members and Sooah for making this such a wonderful experience to end my senior year, and Mr. Monticello for organizing this for us.”


When Youn entered Holy Angels in 2019, she had already played her violin at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, and performed with the Hawaii Youth Symphony and at Italy’s Narnia Festival. As a ninth grader, she became assistant concertmaster of the AHA Orchestra, successfully auditioned for Select Strings (now Chamber Ensemble), and performed at the School Sisters’ Donor Recognition Luncheon. She also plays for the VioLIT Quartet. Her group, Vivo Trio, has participated in the NY Youth Symphony’s chamber music program and earned first prize in the Camerata Artists International Competition. In 2022, Youn returned to Hawaii to take part in the Pacific Music Institute run by the Hawaii Youth Symphony and National Orchestral Institute + Festival. She trained with pros from the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra, The Juilliard School, and The Met Opera, and performed throughout Oahu.


Most recently, Youn served as principal second violinist for the New York Youth Symphony’s fall concert cycle and the assistant principal second violinist for the winter and spring concert cycles of the 2022-23 season. Her work with the NYYS includes work with the orchestra, chamber music program, and the Robert L. Poster Apprentice Conducting Program. 


She has earned first prize at the Elite International Music Competition, the New York Concert Festival Competition, the Fourth Manhattan International Music Competition, and the New York International Music Competition. She has earned multiple President’s Volunteer Service Awards for her work in the community, which includes instructing underprivileged children through Love Violin.


Youn is president of AHA’s chapter of the Tri-M Honor Society for students who excel in music and academics, and demonstrate character and leadership. She is concertmaster for the AHA Orchestra and plays for the Chamber Ensemble. She is also an Angel Ambassador. This Angel studies graphic design at Parsons, and has received top recognition for submissions to the Scholastic Art & Writing Competition. In 2021, she received a Tier I Award for her outstanding work in Columbia’s architecture and design course.


In a few months, Youn will continue her education at New York University, where she intends to major in violin/viola performance and music business.


“I had such a fun time playing chamber music with my friends!” said Ella Eom, who had the distinction of participating in both ensembles. “Performing at Alice Tully was such a wonderful opportunity and it was such an honor to play alongside the best school chamber groups.”


Eom studies violin at AHA and at Juilliard’s pre-college division. She earned a gold medal in the 2021 Bravura Concerto Competition. This year, she was senior division winner and overall runner-up at the Adelphi Young Artists Competition. She is also a semifinalist in the 2023 Stulberg International String Competition.


Sooah Jeon develops her love for the flute by studying at Juilliard, testing her skills in competition, and providing flute lessons through the Onnuri Church Music Program. While she was in eighth grade, Jeon won the Juilliard Open Concerto Competition; the 2021 Glory International Music Competition’s Grand Prize for baroque, classical, romantic, and contemporary music; and Grand Prize in the 2021 Adelphi Orchestra Young Artist Competition.


Her competitive career has also helped her earn a $5,000 Career Grant Award for her winning performance at the 92nd Street Y’s Concerto Competition; and a Grand Prize at the Camerata Artists International Concerto Competition. She has performed in Scholoss Esterházy, Haydnsaal, Eisenstadt, Austria with the Slowakische Radio Symphonie Orchestra. Jeon is a soloist with the Juilliard Precollege Symphony Orchestra, and was highlighted at the Salon de Virtuosi New Year’s Concert.


Brianna Kim drew inspiration from the Alice Tully experience.


“Making music alongside others with a similar passion as mine brought a huge lift in my spirit and made me feel more connected than ever to the world of music,” Kim said. “I met new people, made memories, and learned many valuable lessons through performing and watching other top ranked groups play. This opportunity is quite hard to come by, and I am extremely grateful to Mr. Monticello as well as others involved in organizing this event for making this possible. I am also very thankful for my extraordinarily talented friends for their hard work, perseverance, and for making my freshman year such a memorable one.” 


Kim studies at the Manhattan School of Music’s pre-college division, and is the winner of the 2022 MSM precollege strings concerto competition. After the end of the school year, she will participate in the Heifetz Institute of Music’s 2023 Summer Program.


Linda Chang added, “Being able to come together and make music with a group of incredible musicians was such a wonderful thing to experience. I am very grateful for all my talented friends and for all the great experience they gave me. I also want to thank Mr. Monticello for organizing this opportunity for us.”


Chang studies at Juilliard’s pre-college division, where she won the 2022 Sibelius Violin Concerto Competition. She has been part of the Stradivari Society since 2018. According to, this organization identifies the most promising young musicians in the world and allows them to use fine Italian instruments to help them launch professional careers.