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Resident Profile: Nicholas Chin

By February 18, 2015Connections, Front Page
Nicholas Chin 2015

Nicholas will perform his winning piece “The Lark”
at the Chinese New Year Celebration
Blakely Hall, February 28, 2015 at 7:00pm
All are welcome to attend!

During the lazy days of the recent holiday season, I was catching up on Facebook notices. It was there that I was introduced to Nicholas Chin, son of Sylvia and Sam Chin of the Davis Loop neighborhood. Highlands Council Social Media Maven, Christy Garrard, had uncovered a video of Nicholas’s winning piano performance, a win that earned him a place at the prestigious Crescendo International Competition Concert at Carnegie Hall in New York this February. Nicholas masterfully played “The Lark” by Russian, Glinka Balakirev. Nicholas was only 12 years old (now 13). I was blown away. Christy and I decided then and there to introduce all of you to Nicholas.

Are you ready to play at Carnegie Hall?  I don’t think you are ever ready until the day you perform. You always can improve something, and you do that by practicing and practicing!

Do you get nervous before a performance? I always get nervous during performances. In fact, I think it’s impossible not to be. But if I am, as my dad would say, I “think of everyone as a huge gummy bear…” He also says, “Just enjoy the moment.” Sometimes I just pretend I am playing at home.

When did you begin to play the piano?  I started to play piano when I was six years old. I really didn’t care about it when my mom sent me to my first piano lesson, but I ended up liking it anyway! Also, our family friend in Canada is really good at piano, and I guess he was part of my inspiration to start playing.

What do you like best about the piano?  The thing I like the best in piano has to be when you finally get everything right. It just feels really satisfying and relieving.

What does it take to “get everything right”?  My songs are usually five to seven pages long. I have to practice one to two hours every day for about two months to finally get everything right.

What’s the hardest part about playing the piano?  The fast parts of a song are the hardest. But it is also hard to do the emotional parts. You have to get those right, too. Like the sad part. You don’t have to be sad, but you do have to feel the sadness.

What kind of music do you like to listen to in your “free time”?  I don’t really like listening to classical music as much as listening to pop, rock, and rap music.

Are any other members of your family active musically?  We all are! Sometimes I play my violin with my sister playing the piano, and sometimes she plays the bass with my piano. Sometimes my mom sings along with songs I play. It’s really funny, even sometimes a little embarrassing…

Was there ever a time that you thought of quitting? There was a time, last summer, when I thought I was going to quit playing the piano. I was so busy with swimming team and everything. I went to my very last piano lesson, then I went home and started playing the piano. I realized I was better at piano than swimming. So I quit swimming.

| Resident Profiles are a regular column in Connections, Issaquah Highlands’s monthly print publication. Nina Milligan is the author and photographer. |