What: Classical JAMMIES concert
When: 7 p.m. Saturday, May 7
Where: Jackson Hall, Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts
Tickets: $20 general, $15 for students, $10 for children, available at http://www.mondaviarts.org or (530) 754-2787
Music students from the Davis schools will be well-represented at the annual JAMMIES concert showcasing young talent from around the region. The concert begins at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 7, in Jackson Hall at the Mondavi Center.
Flutist Margaux Filet of Davis High — profiled recently in The Enterprise when she appeared at the Wennberg Music Festival in April — will be one of the featured soloists. An orchestra from Holmes Junior High in Davis, under the direction of Angelo Moreno, will be featured as well.
And another soloist from Davis High, 16-year-old cellist Eunghee Cho, will take center stage.
Cho, a junior at DHS, started playing the cello in the third grade, and stayed with the instrument as he moved from Pioneer Elementary to Valley Oak Elementary, Holmes Junior High and now Davis High.
Cho’s family name may strike a chord with local music lovers. His older sister Eunah Cho — a violinist, now age 19, and studying at UC San Diego — was a standout at DHS.
This is Eunghee Cho’s second appearance at the annual JAMMIES concert, which is organized by the Sacramento News & Review. Last year, Cho played the first movement from the First Cello Concerto by Soviet composer Dmitri Shostakovich, written in 1959.
This year, he will go with a much earlier piece: the first movement of the Cello Concerto in D Major by Franz Josef Haydn, written in 1783, at a time when what would become known as the Classical era was dawning.
Music features prominently in Cho’s daily life.
“When I get home from school, first I finish my homework, then I practice, at least an hour a day,” he said in a phone interview last week.
“I feel like I’m always in the mood to play. There isn’t a time when I’d rather be doing something else. I’m in a 24/7 mood to play.”
Cho’s enthusiasm for music got a boost last summer, when he went to the famous music program at Tanglewood, on the East Coast.
“I fell in love with music even more so,” he said.
Cho said he’s looking forward to attending the Music in Menlo program in Silicon Valley this summer, which is organized by David Finckel, the cellist with the Emerson String Quartet.
Cho also enjoys sports.
“I played soccer for 10 years, but I had to quit that when joined the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra,” he said. But Cho still finds time to participate in track and field at Davis High.
As he prepares for his senior year of high school, Cho is naturally thinking about college.
“I’d like to go to USC for their music school. I’m also interested in psychiatry,” he said. “It would be amazing to do both.”
Whom does he look up to as a cellist? There are several he admires, Cho said, but at the moment he is particularly impressed by French performer Gautier Capuçon, whose brother, violinist Renaud Capuçon, appeared recently at Mondavi.
“Gautier came and gave a master class with the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra. He stressed the idea of simplifying everything,” Cho said. “He also said you can only add your own personal taste to music once you understand the music itself. You need to understand everything on the page that the composer wrote before you can add something of your own.”
Cho’s advice to elementary school students who are taking up an instrument for the first time: “When you start an instrument, be sure it’s something you want to keep playing.”
— Reach Jeff Hudson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (530) 747-8055.