Featured Music Performance Program Student: YONG MURRAY (CC'17)

What year are you at Columbia?

Columbia College, '17.  

What are/will you be majoring in?


How long have you been a participant of the MPP? 

I've participated in the MPP since the beginning of my freshman year.

How have you benefited by MPP programs and performance opportunities?

There are very few parts of my musical life that MPP hasn't in some way helped out.  I've been able to play in many great chamber music ensembles with wonderfully accomplished coaches, and there always seems to be some performance opportunity available whenever I need it.  Even though I take lessons outside of Columbia, MPP has provided me with the funding necessary for me to do so.  Columbia doesn't have a conservatory program, but it certainly feels like the offerings are equivalent to one. It is also an immense help that all of the ladies working the MPP office are incredibly warm, supportive, and generous.

Any tips on how a student might be able to fully take advantage of all the musical offerings at Columbia? 

Read your emails. Respond to emails. Read the posters. Respond to posters.  

How do you balance the busy academic schedule with practice time? any tips?

Don't sleep, don't study, don't make friends. 

What was the most memorable musical experience in your life?

When I went to a festival in Canada, I got a (free!) onstage ticket for a recital by Marc-Andre Hamelin in which he played two of my favorite Schubert sonatas.  Any attempt to describe how beautiful it was will fall flat upon its face, so I'll leave it there...  

What does making music mean to you?

Like any true friend, music is capable of making me feel happy, loved, peaceful, and content.  Also like any true friend, music is capable of making me feel sadness, anger, frustration, and utter disillusionment.  While I'd like to say that the former feelings always outweigh the latter, in any case I could never deny that music has given me a better understanding of what it means to be human.  

Anything you would like to share with the readers? (favorite food, summer activities, favorite quote, etc)

I like green tea, wienerschnitzel, and Scriabin.  But most of all I like cats.