South Country Education Foundation

Alumni Focus – Kyu Young Kim

Kyu Young Kim is a 1990 graduate and class valedictorian of Bellport High School .  He is currently the Associate Concertmaster of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. He studied violin at Curtis Institute and the Julliard School. Kyu was concertmaster of the orchestras at both schools as well as at Bellport High School. He has performed with pianist Gary Graffman, the Julliard String Quartet, the Orpehus Chamber Orchestra and the Sejong Soloists. As a member of the Pacifica Quartet he won the Naumberg Chamber Music Award in 1998.

Kyu has given solo recitals in Kode and Tokyo, Japan, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and Boston. He is widely recognized for his teaching and musical outreach activities. Kyu has served on the faculties of the University of Chicago, the Music Institute of Chicago and the Interlochen Summer Festival.

Kyu is a member of the Daedalus Quartet, which recently won the 2001 Banff International String Quartet Competition. This quartet perfomed a benefit concert for the South Country Education Foundation.

When asked to comment on what was the most significant thing that influenced him during his years in the South Country Schools, Kyu responded with the following:

When I think of my days at Bellport High School, the first thing that comes to mind is my time spent in the Orchestra Room. Hugh Preble was the head of the Music Program then, and he was not your typical high school orchestra conductor.

Sure there were students who thought he was a crazy old man, but there was a group of us who really appreciated how passionate he was about classical music. He would have died before letting us play movie tunes and pop song arrangements. He made us play Bach and Handel and Beethoven and even Stravinsky and Ernst Krenek! It was too hard for us, but it was amazing how well we could do when a teacher didn’t talk down to us but really challenged us. There were other teachers like that at Bellport, but since I chose music as my career, I often think of Mr. Preble and his dedication to teaching the music he loved. In the budget cuts that came in the early 1990’s, he was forced into early retirement. I think a lot of budding musicians at Bellport High suffered from not being exposed to a teacher like Mr. Preble.