Q&A with Director of Orchestras, Soo Han

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By: Mary Queisser <[email protected]>

Q: What college did you attend?
A: IU Jacob’s School of Music.

Q: How long have you been teaching?
A: Six years.

Q: Where have you previously taught?
A: I taught three years at North Central and three years at Munster High School.

Q: In the past few years, the orchestra didn’t enter any competitions. Do you plan on changing that?
A: Yes, but we may not go to competition every year. One thing I like about the Carmel High School performing arts program is that it isn’t very competition driven. It’s more about what happens in class everyday and not just about winning a trophy.

Q: Is there anything else you want to accomplish?
A: The orchestra is off to a great start, but we would like to bring in more student leadership, so we established the orchestra council (which) has already started planning social events and fundraisers and meeting the other needs of the orchestra program.

Q: Have you discussed anything with the previous orchestra director Andrew King?
A: Yes, we’re still great friends. I actually student-taught for him. We’re still in contact a lot, and we hang out and talk about the program.

Q: What music do you plan on playing this year?
A: We’re going start with some Beethoven and some Dvorak.

Q: How do you choose music?
A: Choosing the right music is the most important thing an orchestra director has to do. I spend hours listening to music and trying to decide what to play. I have two basic requirements. One: I have to like it. Two: It has to be something the students could like. It also has to challenging and not too easy and educational, so we’re learning about different composers and different compositions.

Q: Why did you choose to teach orchestra?
A: I love music, and I love teaching and working with kids. I was thinking about going into business with my parents’ business, but then I couldn’t see myself being happy doing anything but music and teaching.