Three students of Do Re Mi School continue to show great progress in playing the violin, inspiring their parents and school officials to seek for community sponsors that would give them opportunities to chase their dream to become professional violinists someday.
Alan Tudela, Zhen Yu Su, and Colin Fruit's latest achievement was performing for the crowd at the 2nd Annual CNMI Got Talent, a search for the most talented solo or group acts in the Commonwealth sponsored by Bridge Capital LLC.
For the second consecutive year, Tudela bested other participants to win the coveted $2,000 grand prize at the event that coincided with the company's Christmas party at the Pacific Islands Club Charley's Cabaret last Dec. 15.
Su and Fruit, meanwhile, bagged two of the three mini grand prizes worth $1,000 each.
The only son of Hua and the late Alejandro C. Tudela, the younger Tudela has already won numerous competitions and holds many awards under his belt prior to last December's competition.
At the age of 4, Tudela cried a lot when he first heard violin music-a crucial moment in his life that made his mother realize early on that he might have the talent to play the instrument.
“I cried because it was a beautiful sound. I really love to play the violin. It makes me feel relaxed,” said the 12-year-old Tudela.
Nowadays, Tudela keeps himself busy by performing in public more often and rigorously practicing and training in preparation for his immediate goal to participate in the Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition.
The competition, named after its founder, Yehudi Menuhin, is the world's leading international violin competition for players under the age of 22. It will be held at Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music at the University of Texas in Austin from Feb. 21 to March 2, 2014, with the application period from March to October 2013.
“Alan spends most of his time playing the violin. He has quite a good technique for his age. With someone who has much love for a difficult instrument like the violin, I know that Alan will succeed,” said Do Re Mi School president and violin instructor Ao Zhang.
Zhen Yu Su, on the other hand, believes that music runs in the family, recounting how he first fell in love with the instrument. “I went to a Do Re Mi School concert and the music just impacted me,” said the younger of two children of Ying Qi Su and Hong Chao Chen.
The younger Su, who has been playing the violin for 10 years, has already developed very high technique and even has a “special memory” that manifest in how he works his instrument after seeing a performance or concert.
Su's skills and talent earned him in 2011 a prestigious scholarship with the Aspen Music Festival and School, an internationally renowned classical music festival founded in 1949 and presents music in an intimate, small-town setting as well as serve as a training ground for young adult musicians.
When asked about his experience in the festival and school, Su said, “When you go out into the world, you meet other people and it broadens your horizon and it gives you a lot of experience. You learn that everyone is unique in their own way.”
Su, 12, earned the same scholarship this year and also got accepted in the final round of the 2012 Hong Kong International Violin Competition this month.
“Music can really touch my heart. I just want other people to also be happy and enjoy whenever they hear my music,” said Su, adding that he is rehearsing for his upcoming contest and is also preparing for his college auditions.
Colin Fruit, meanwhile, already has a schedule for his final round of auditions to three music schools in the mainland.
“I'm really excited and optimistic about college and I look forward to the opportunity to study and learn with real violinists,” said the 17-year-old son of Cameron and Ruth Fruit.
The younger Fruit said he has been playing the violin for eight years now, with the last three years being trained by Zhang at Do Re Mi School.
“I begged my dad to get me a violin. Finally he did and I started taking lessons. I've always enjoyed the sound of a violin. There's something special about it,” said Fruit, whose three younger brothers also play the instrument.
The Bridge Capital talent search was the first time for Fruit to join any competition, giving him more confidence to sign up for other contests and perform publicly.
“I couldn't do it without the help of my teachers and the school. I had so many chances to perform outside through them. It's really because of them that I can play at all,” he added.
Zhang, who personally trained the three young students, expressed his desire to encourage and help them achieve their dream to become world-class violinists.
To make this happen, he said a student need to have a love for music, a good teacher, good parents, a lot of time, and the opportunity to perform.
“I'm really proud of them. They have a big and bright future ahead. Many students from our school have succeeded after their time at Do Re Mi School, and I hope these three students will have the opportunity to show their talents and make the CNMI proud,” said Zhang.
For more information, visit Do Re Mi School in Chinatown or call 233-7777.