Jennifer Rhee begged her parents for years to let her play the flute. She’d seen someone play at a wedding when she was seven and knew the melodic instrument was for her. Only when she turned nine could her fingers reach the keys so she could begin to study.
But ever since that beginning, she’s been unstoppable. Rhee has played in the Tacoma Youth Symphony Association since seventh grade where she says the principal roles in the flute sections increased her ability to communicate with other musicians and raised her confidence. This past April, she traveled with the Puyallup High School band where they recorded Disney music in a studio under the direction of Joe Alfuso who is known for his work as an orchestrator for The Grinch Who Stole Christmas and many other movies. Rhee’s favorite place to practice, she says, is her parents’ bathroom because the sound bounces off the surfaces and best imitates the setting of the stage.
The seventeen-year-old plans to use the scholarship from the Lovezolla Music Award to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston after completing a year of undergraduate work at Central Washington University. Her career goals include performance and music education.
Rhee advises beginning musicians to find a good teacher and not give up even when at first it’s hard to make a beautiful sound. “There is no end game,” she reminds players. Musicians can always reach higher and improve their musical skills by making new goals as they achieve the old ones.
To hear Jennifer Rhee’s own melodic and resonant sound in person, come Tuesday, May 15th at 7:00 pm to First Christian Church of Puyallup, 623 9th Ave S.E.
Admission is free.