Matthew Kim wins a merit award from National Young Arts Foundation


Matthew Kim

Matthew Kim poses for a headshot with his flute. At the end of last year, Kim received a merit award after seven years of experience.

The National Young Arts Foundation continues reaching out to students and sparking hope for young artists. Merit winner, Matthew Kim (11) sees a bright future.

Matthew Kim has played the flute since fourth grade and has steadily climbed his way to the National Young Arts Foundation competition. The foundation holds a competition at the end of each year that allows students from across the country to submit their work. Winners receive specialized classes and other academic perks during Young Arts week. Master classes and chamber groups are available during the week, where winners can indulge in improving their skills with other students and professionals.

“They bring together students, they have a bunch of scholarships they offer, and it’s just a community you can be a part of,” Kim said. 

The competition has a wide range of artistic categories, from writing to performing arts. As it was always a virtual competition, it was only mildly impacted by the pandemic. Participants record or photograph their entries and send them to the foundation to be judged. Entries were submitted by October 16, 2020. 

“This competition has always been a virtual competition with in-person Young Arts week, so the online aspect really didn’t matter much for this competition,” Kim said. “But for other competitions, for me, I like being in person, being with the judges, you can catch their vibe kind of and perform how they want you to perform.”

Mrs. Myung Kim, Matthew Kim’s private teacher, has taught him since fourth grade and helped him through the entire process.

“She was there throughout the whole process like picking the music I was going to do, she helped me prepare it, helped me record it and then just helped me finalize everything to send in,” Matthew Kim said.

Mrs. Myung Kim sees great potential in Matthew Kim and never doubted his achievement.

“Matthew always enjoys challenges and he is a very competitive student,” Mrs. Myung Kim said. “Also, he has a very outgoing personality, so he doesn’t get nervous at the auditions. Hence, I always trust he would play his best at any audition.”

Of course, this competition like any other comes with unexpected obstacles and surprises. Matthew Kim experienced one of these just hours before the final deadline.

“Right before I was going to submit the recordings, my best take on the hardest piece I was going to do disappeared,” Matthew Kim said. “I couldn’t find it. I had to find the SD card that was in the camera, it was in there thankfully, but I thought I had moved it to my computer and it was an hour before the deadline.”

The foundation took around two months to judge and place all entries, as Matthew Kim received his results in early December.

“I was writing a paper actually, and I saw my phone ding, and it was an email from Young Arts and then in the middle of my paper, I jumped out of my chair. I was so excited. I was like ‘no way,’” Matthew Kim said. “I jumped out of my chair and I fell running down the stairs, I was like ‘I got to go tell my parents.’”

Mrs. Myung Kim found out about Kim’s placing as a merit winner later on.

“I am so happy and I certainly believe him worthy of the outcome,” Mrs. Myung Kim said.

Matthew Kim plans to continue on with his flute-playing and competing in the National Young Arts Foundation competition.

“I am already starting the recordings for next fall’s competition, and I want to play in college too,” Matthew Kim said.