Members

Bernards Ensemble

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Brandon Lee

President & Trustee, Cello

Brandon is a senior at Ridge High School. He has played cello for nine years and has participated in the All States Orchestra, Regional Orchestra, School Chamber and Symphony Orchestra, and New York Youth Symphony. In addition to orchestras and symphonies, Brandon has taken part in multiple volunteer orchestras and events such as PEC and ARC, as well as music festivals such as the Summit Music Festival in Manhattanville. In addition to music, Brandon is a part of clubs such as the Youth Advisory Council for the Congressman, Project Sunshine Non-Profit, and other assorted clubs. 

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Syon Lee

Vice President, Viola

Syon is a senior at Millburn High School. She has been playing piano and viola for over 10 years, and has been involved in various orchestras like the NJ Regional Orchestra, her school’s orchestra, her school’s chamber orchestra, and the New Jersey Youth Symphony. She has also attended the Brevard Summer Music Festival and performed at Carnegie Hall.  In addition to music, she is Captain of her school’s Varsity Swim Team, Class Treasurer, and President of the Girl’s Engineering and Science Club.  She enjoys spreading positivity and joy through music and her other passions. 

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Daniel Cho

Vice President, Piano

Daniel is a senior attending Bernards High School. He has been playing the piano for 8 years now. Although he primarily played the piano for fun, he now has a dedication to use his talent for the community, hence why he has joined the Bernards Ensemble. He believes that he should use his skills for the greater good because he can, even if they aren't much. Besides the piano, Daniel also enjoys practicing archery, reading, and modifying nerf blasters. He looks forward to exploring and obtaining more skills in the future. 

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Alexandra Gualario

Secretary, Voice

Soprano Alexandra Gualario is a senior at Ridge High School in Basking Ridge.  She has been under the tutelage of Lorraine Nubar and Cynthia Sanner of The Juilliard School and most recently under Martha Elliot of Princeton University. Alexandra has also studied at the Académie Internationale D'eté de Nice in Nice, France.  She was recently cast in her first professional opera with the regional opera company Light Opera of New Jersey in their production of Die Fledermaus, and has been showcased in their pre-professional showcase Basking in Light.  Having a passion for connecting with others through music, Alexandra is thrilled to be a member of the Bernards Ensemble.   

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Carys Law

Treasurer, Violin

Carys Law is a senior at Ridge High School. She has been playing violin for 11 years and has been engaged in many orchestras including New Jersey Youth Symphony and her school’s

symphony orchestra. She has also performed at notable venues such as Carnegie Hall and

Princeton University’s Alexander Hall. Outside of music, she is a four-year varsity tennis player

and the Captain of the Ridge Girls Tennis Team, as well as the founder and director of Feed to

Give, a nonprofit organization. She is a committed individual and loves to take leadership roles

in the activities she is passionate about, and especially in music.

VOICE

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Julie Soldat

Julie is currently studying Studio Art and Psychology at Lafayette College. She has played piano for four years and started singing in 5th grade, and enjoys baking and painting. During high school, Julie participated in Track and Field, and now she is currently a member of the Lafayette Track and Field team. 

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Stephanie Yakely

Stephanie is a sophomore at North Hunterdon High school. Her passion for music started in elementary school when she was accepted into the school’s selective choir, and then the New Jersey Honor Choir. Stephanie also joined the Bernards Ensemble mid-December of 2019. She is an active participant in both live theater and technological theater, and hopes she can spread the joy of the arts to all.

VIOLIN

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Austin Lee

Trustee

Austin is the founder and music director of the Bernards Ensemble. He is currently studying the violin and viola under Bela Horvath of the Manhattan School of Music. He served as concertmaster in various orchestras and performed solo concertos multiple times. Austin has won awards as both a soloist and a chamber musician in competitions such as the Coltman Chamber Music Concert at UT Austin, the "Rome" Grand Prize Virtuoso Competition, the Sinfonietta Nova Young Concert Artists Competition, and the YWCA New York International Music Competition. He is a freshman at Columbia University and plans to major in Economics and Public Health.

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Jessica Kim

Trustee

Jessica is currently studying Hotel Administration at the Cornell Hotel School. She has played the violin since 1st grade, and enjoys cooking and the arts. During high school, she participated in her school orchestra as well as the New Jersey Youth Symphony. At Cornell, Jessica is now a part of several student organizations, and hopes to continue violin.

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Minji Kim

Trustee

Minji is a rising freshman at Ridge High School. She has served as a concertmaster of her school orchestras since elementary school. She has attended Manhattan School of Music Precollege where she was awarded the Kate Bamberger Memorial Scholarship and had a recipient recital. She was the 2nd prize winner of Manhattan Sschool of Music Repertory Strings Concerto competition in 2018. She has won several competitions and performed at the famous venues such as Carnegie and Merkin Hall. Minji performed as a soloist with Queensboro Symphony Orchestra. She participated in the Heifetz Institute PEG program during the summer for three years.

Outside of school, she has volunteered as a member of an ensemble and has performed for the Senior houses and Nursing homes. She joined Bernards Eensemble Junior in 2018.

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Sungjun Jo

I am turning 14 and have started the violin since third grade in Mount Prospect Elementary school. Since then I have joined a few orchestras including veritas, Bernards Ensemble, and a few orchestras at my church. Currently, I am in the William Annin Middle School 8th grade orchestra and I am in the William Annin Philharmonic. Also, I was in the 2018 Regionals youth orchestra and I competed in the Spring Audition.

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MJ Chu

MJ is in 7th grade at William Annin Middle School. She has been playing violin for 5 years and is Concertmaster in the grade orchestra. She also attended Philharmonic back in 6th grade prior to the lockdown. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, she was unable to audition for Regionals and is hoping to find another opportunity to join other orchestras outside of school. MJ is preparing to compete in various music competitions in 2021. She also played piano and attended the Princeton Festival Piano Competition when she was 11. Now she plays piano for recreation and focuses on violin. In addition to music, she enjoys drawing, cooking, and other arts as a hobby. 

CELLO

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Sean Lee

Sean is a founding member of the Bernards Ensemble. He is currently studying Finance and Consulting at Emory University. He has played the cello since the age of 7, performing as a soloist and member of numerous orchestras. He has performed in performance halls such as Merkin Concert Hall, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and Wiener Musikverein in Austria. At Emory University, Sean is part of the Asian Culture Club, Korean American Student Association, and iMentor program. 

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Noah Choi

Noah is a sophomore at Bridgewater Raritan High School.  He has a passion for the cello, volleyball, and tennis.  Noah is a member of the class council as secretary,  as well as the speech and debate team, volleyball team, and Key Club.  Noah has been playing cello since fifth grade, and is now involved in the Bridgewater High School symphony orchestra and Veritas orchestra.

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David Yi

David is a 8th grader at Bridgewater Middle school. He has been playing the drums for 8 years and Cello for 3 years, and has performed in orchestras like NJ Regional Orchestra, the middle school’s chamber orchestra, Veritas orchestra, and Praise Youth Orchestra. He has also attended Spring auditions for NJMTA. In addition to music, he is playing hockey on a travel team, and has been vice president for his school. He hopes to bring people joy through his music.

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Ethan Hong

Ethan Hong is 16 and a junior in high school in Livingston, New Jersey.  He started playing cello in his school’s music program when he was 9 years old and began to take private lessons 3 years after being charmed by its rich tone that resembled the human vocal range.  

In his earliest ensemble days, he played at the Lakeland Youth Symphony for 2 years, only to later join the New Jersey Youth Symphony by 2019.  He has made it into the Northern NJ Regions Orchestra and has also won first prize in the Concert Festival Competition of 2020. Outside of orchestral music, he appreciates many other different genres of music, his favorites being punk rock and metal, but his all-time favorite artist being Radiohead.

Ethan currently has interests to follow a career path in medicine in psychiatry, and is excited to participate in the Bernard Ensemble.

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Alexander Moon

Alexander is a junior at Governor Livingston High School. He has been playing cello for over 5 years, and has participated in many competitions and orchestras including school orchestra, Central Jersey Regional orchestra, NJ All State orchestra, New Jersey Youth Symphony, and New York Youth Symphony. He also won a silver prize in the NLPA competition, bronze in the International Virtuoso competition, 2nd place in the Young Musicians competition, and 1st place in the Prima Volta competition which allowed him to perform at Carnegie Hall. Alex also interned at the GMP Young Artists Summer music camp. He is a member of the Governor Livingston Varsity Swim team, and part of his school quartet and cello quintet.

PIANO

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Jimmy Gao

Jimmy is a founding member of the Bernards Ensemble and is a freshman at Duke University, where he stuies public policy. He has been playing both the cello and the piano, and he has been a member of the Bernards Ensemble since its creation. Outside of performing at events, he also helps publicize the Bernards Ensemble’s events and even once serving as its host. Outside of the Bernards Ensemble, he also serves as an officer in the Ridge Symphony Orchestra and plays piano recreationally. Above all, Jimmy enjoys serving as a voice and communicator for the less privileged, and is committed to creating positive change in his community both through music and through other avenues.

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Jason Lee

Trustee

Jason is a founding member of the Bernards Ensemble and is a sophomore at the North Hunterdon Regional High School. He has been playing piano for over seven years and has played the oboe for six years. Jason is also one of the founding members and is an active player of the Bernards Ensemble since 2016. In addition to music, Jason is part of his school’s varsity track team, has practiced and taught taekwondo for more than 11 years, and has played tennis for five years. He is also part of his school’s Unified Peer Leader’s class, where various students are chosen and assist students with special needs during their classes. Jason hopes to bring joy to people through music and sports. 

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Adrian Kim

Adrian is a sophomore at Bridgewater High School. He lived in Korea for around five years and in Germany for about three years. He started to learn piano when he was eight years old and since then he has been practicing piano on and off. He has participated in two competitions in Korea and received two special awards. He also performed piano in a couple special events. He also practiced the cello for about four years and performed in a few school concerts in Germany. Other than music, Adrian is into art and coding. He spends time learning how to code and hopes that he will be able to help others with coding in the future.

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Joseph Cho

Joseph is a sophomore at Bernards High, has been playing the piano for over 5 years. He went to Dorney Park to perform with his old school jazz band. In addition to music, he plays for his school’s soccer team, his school’s winter and spring track team, and he attends the NJ school of archery. He enjoys spreading positivity and joy through music and other activities. He also likes to make other people smile and happy through music.

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Michael Pack

Michael is a freshman at Ridge High School. He has been playing jazz and classical piano for the past 6 years. He has won various competitions and performed at recitals, including the Piano Teachers Society of America (PTSA) 2020 Competition in the Popular Styles category.

Besides playing the piano, Michael has been practicing Taekwondo for 6 years and has a 2nd Degree black belt. He aspires to become a Taekwondo instructor and is therefore training to

become one.

BRASS

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Eric Chung

Eric takes passion in playing the alto saxophone as well as tenor saxophone. Eric participates in many different kinds of bands such as the Bridgewater-Raritan Monday Jazz Band and Wind Ensemble, The Jazz House Kids Big Band, Elefante’s Allstar Jazz Band, NJ Region II Jazz Band, and many more. Eric loves playing the saxophone and he wants to use his talent to bring joy and happiness to many people. Eric thinks being part of the Bernard’s Ensemble is an honor and he is very happy to be a proud member of the organization.

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Philip Choi

Philip is a junior and lead trumpet at Ridge High School. He has played trumpet for seven years and in CJMEA Regions Band for three years. In his free time, he plays tennis for his school’s team and performs with jazz group Dixietones throughout his local community. As part of the Bernards Ensemble, he enjoys spreading joy through his music at service-oriented events.

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Ethan Chiu

Ethan is a founding member of the Bernards Ensemble. He is passionate about the French horn on the Wind Ensemble, swimming, and volunteering. He was a captain for the high school swim Team, swims competitively for the Somerset Hills YMCA Swim Team, and actively volunteers for Saturdays in Motion at the YMCA.

FLUTE

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Helen Cho

Helen is currently studying at the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University under the tutelage of Molly Barth. At the Blair School, Helen has played principal flute in the Vanderbilt Orchestra and Wind Symphony. Helen is involved in chamber music as a member of a woodwind quintet. Previously, Helen studied with Soo-Kyung Park at the Manhattan School of Music, Pre-College division. Helen has performed at Carnegie Hall and at the New York Flute Fair and has won awards including First Prize at the MSM Woodwinds, Brass & Percussion Concerto Competition, the New York Flute Club Young Musicians Contest, and the Elite International Music Competition. 
Helen has participated as a performer at The Consummate Flutist at Carnegie-Mellon University and Aria Summer Academy. This past summer, she visited Colombia with the Vanderbilt Wind Symphony for an immersion experience. 

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Karen Cui

Karen is a founding member of the Bernards Ensemble and is a freshman at Northwestern University. She has been involved with music since the age
of 7 and has since learned piano, flute, oboe, guitar, ukulele, and a little bit of cello. She has
played in the New Jersey Youth Symphony, in her high school wind ensemble, and she was also
a member of the Tri M Music Honors Society. Apart from music, she was a 4-year varsity high
school track athlete competing in hurdles and jumps, and also served as student body secretary
and treasurer for National Honors Society. She is majoring in communications and plans to
minor in music technology.