Due to popular demands, a new orchestra was formed this year thanks to efforts from parents Nina Han, Flora Cheng, and May Cheung. Together, they invited Mr. John Lin, an experienced classical conductor, to head the newly formed musical ensemble in the hopes of giving young musicians an added avenue to continue their musical journey.   

We had the esteemed pleasure of catching up with Mr. Lin to hear a little bit about his background in music and his vision of the SCIS Orchestra’s near future.

John, can you introduce yourself? What is your background and where were you musically trained?

I’m from Taiwan, where I started my music training. After getting my bachelor’s degree, I went to one of the top music schools around the world, Jacob School of Music at Indiana University. First, I got a master’s degree in clarinet performance and then decided to pursue a second master’s degree in orchestra-conducting. I am now the principal conductor of three district orchestras in Shanghai and a regular guest conductor of several orchestras in Europe and Asia. And of course, the conductor of the SCIS orchestra.

Can you tell us about your very first encounter with music?

I started to learn the piano when I was five years old, but I had already been playing on a keyboard since I was very young.

When did you then choose to make music a career?

Even though I started playing music early, it wasn’t until I joined the orchestra in my high school, at the age of 17, that I decided to make music a career.

When people come to see the SCIS Orchestra, what do you think will strike them the most about the music?

I would like to try some animated and joyful pieces and also master some classical music. The first is to let people know that an orchestra can be an exciting experience, and master classical music is to let people know how beautiful music is.

What do you hope to accomplish in the near future with the SCIS orchestra? 

I hope we can have more members join in to have an entire orchestra and a full sound. Then with more training, we can learn more intricate musical pieces. After that, my aim is to take this orchestra around the world to share our growing repertoire of music, such as the International Youth and Music Festival happening in Vienna, Austria in 2020. 

Currently, the SCIS Orchestra counts 37 members in its ranks, including 13 violinists, three violists, six cellists, four flutists, four clarinetists, three percussionists, one French horn player, one trumpet player, one saxophonist, and one trombonist.

That number is set to grow as the year progresses as we aim to include up to 50 members in the ensemble. Joining the orchestra will expose budding musicians to a repertoire of forms and styles of music while developing their knowledge and potential as musicians, both personally and collaboratively.