Jae-Min Kim on the 2013 Mississippi Guitar Festival Middle School Competition

Jae-MinDr. Nicholas Ciraldo heads the guitar department at the University of Southern Mississippi where he held the 2013 Mississippi Guitar Festival. Chosen from a group of over 30 participants, Jae-Min Kim won second place in the Middle School division. Here’s what he had to say about the experience:

I attend Baldwin Arts and Academic Magnet School. Our instructor’s name is Douglas Back and I would have to give him most of the credit because he was the one to teach me how to play the guitar. I started playing the guitar in the summer of 2010 so I have been playing for about 2 and a half years.

Usually, I practice a minimum of a 1 to 2 hours each day. Of course I am busy doing other extracurricular activities sometimes, but I try my best to squeeze in at least an hour each day.

I played Cavatina by Stanley Meyers at the competition. Before going up to perform, I continued to tell myself to relax, don’t worry, and play just like I practiced.

Although I have played for a crowd of people multiple times, there is no doubt that I still get a little bit nervous. In our school’s guitar program, there is a thing called guitar legend. I achieved that award this year, getting to perform a 20 minute recital in front of 600 people. I would like to get more comfortable and less nervous while performing. (This applies for competitions as well).

There is no doubt that I love classical music and performing solo, but in the future I would like to try a different type of music or even test out this year’s guitar festival theme, chamber music. I would love to perform music to a large crowd as a duet.

In addition to guitar I am a tennis player. I am currently the 1st seed at Loveless Academic Magnet School, and  2nd in the state of Alabama for my division. Someday, I would greatly enjoy bringing guitar as far as I have tennis.

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