Violin Shop

Meet The Team

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Kevin Zhang
Competition Director

Kevin Zhang is a senior from Memorial High School in Houston, TX. He started playing the violin in 2011, at the age of 8, and he has previously studied under Medea Guldedava. He currently studies under Tong Yan.

 

Kevin is one of the Co-Presidents of orchestra at Memorial. As a passionate violinist, Kevin participated in TMEA Region since middle school. He was placed into the Symphony Orchestra Violin I section for 6 straight years. In addition, he was placed into the 2021 TMEA All-State Philharmonic Orchestra. Kevin has competed in UIL in a quartet and a quintet, earning a score of 1 from both of them. Kevin has been a member in the highly-acclaimed Houston Youth Symphony for 5 years, earning a spot in the String and Philharmonia Orchestra. Outside of school, Kevin is part of “Share the Music”, where he performs in an ensemble for the local senior community with his classmates. Kevin also previously played the piano for 5 years, and he has participated in the National Piano Playing Auditions for 3 years.  Kevin currently serves as a volunteer for the Vivace International School of Music, in which he helped host virtual recitals. 

 

Furthermore, Kevin has been a dedicated and an outstanding volunteer throughout high school. He serves as the President of his school’s volunteering club called Memorial Mustang Outreach Bunch. Kevin has also earned the President’s Volunteer Service Gold Award twice.

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Tong Yan
HIMC Artistic Advisor; Principal of VISM

A winner of international competitions, Tong has claimed first prize at the International Music Competition of Union Francaise des Artistes Musiciens in Paris, International Violin Competition in Kazakhstan, International Chinese Violin Competition in New York, and string winner at the Gisborne International Orchestral Instruments Competition in New Zealand. She has also placed in the top three at the Andrea Postacchini International Violin Competition in Italy and the Brahms International Violin Competition in Austria. Tong has had many recitals and solo performances with orchestras in Austria, Italy, Germany, France, Australia, New Zealand, China, Canada, and the United States.

Tong is currently an active chamber musician and has participated in festivals such as the Summer Strings Academy in Australia, Canada’s Morningside Music Bridge, Colorado College Summer Music Festival, Bar Harbor Music Festival in Maine, Pacific Music Festival in Japan, Spoleto Music Festival in South Carolina, Britt Music Festival in Oregon, and the Meadowmount Summer School in New York.

Tong joined the Houston Symphony in 2012 while pursuing her Graduate Diploma at the New England Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Donald Weilerstein. She also holds a Master of Music degree from New England Conservatory, and a split bachelor’s degree from the Vienna University of Fine Arts, Joseph Haydn Conservatory, and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Her teachers include Elisabeth Kropfitsch, Klaus Maetzl, and Marilyn McDonald. Tong founded Vivace International School of Music in 2017.

Team Members

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Grace Pan
Co-Marketing Manager

Grace Pan is a senior from Kinder HSPVA in Houston, TX. She started playing the cello at the age of 11, and currently studies under Wei Bing. 

 

Grace has been selected to be a part of the Region 23 orchestra cello section for the past 6 years. She has also been a part of the award winning Houston Youth Symphony for the past 5 years in the String, Philharmonia, and Symphony orchestras. Grace has competed in the 2018 & 2019 UIL Solo Ensemble competition where she was awarded a rating of 1 for her solos and competed in the 2019 Katy Young Artist competition where she was given a rating of 1 for her quartet. In the summer of 2019, Grace attended the Bravo International Music Competition. Grace is currently a cello teacher under the non-profit Practice Pals and the Bellaire High School Tri-M Music Honor Society. She has also performed in retirement homes with the non-profit Music of Harmony and performed in the 2020 Spread the Music Association Benefit Concert. At school, Grace is the founder and president of the HSPVA Tri-M Music Honor Society where she leads and organizes the club meetings and activities. She was also the principal cellist of the HSPVA Symphony orchestra, was a part of the Quintet Con Fuoco, and currently performs with the Helios quintet at school. 

 

Outside of music, Grace is also a passionate dancer who performs solos and lead roles at her dance studio’s performances, recently performing as the princess in the Firebird in the TMC Orchestra dreams of America concert with Mitsi Dancing School.

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Daniel Ma is a sophomore at Memorial High School in Houston, Texas. He has played piano since kindergarten, but dropped it for the clarinet when he got to middle school. In middle school, Daniel achieved region for the last two years, getting second chair in 8th grade. In the middle school UIL Solo & Ensemble Contest, Daniel made 1's and OP's for both events in the two years he competed. This year, Daniel made high school region and was a few chairs away from advancing to area. 

This year, Daniel helped host virtual recitals and other events with the Vivace International School of Music. 

Outside of music, Daniel enjoys playing tennis with friends. 

Daniel Ma
Co-Marketing Manager

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Jerry Zhang is a sophomore at The St. John’s School in Houston, Texas. He started playing the violin at the age of 6 and currently studies under Tong Yan. 

 

Jerry has been selected in TMEA Region for the past 3 years, and received second chair in the first violin section in 8th grade. He also participated in TPSMEA All-State in his freshman year, receiving a chair in the first violin section. Aside from these organizations, Jerry is also the Co-President of the Spread the Music Association Memorial Branch, a student organized music program dedicated to performing for the greater Houston community. In addition, he is also a volunteer for the Vivace International School of Music, where he often hosts events and performances.

 

Outside of music, Jerry is an avid golfer, playing for his school's varsity team and competing in tournaments around texas.

Jerry Zhang
Social Media Manager

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Alexander Wang
Designer; PR Manager

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Alex Wang is going into his Sophomore year at Memorial High School in Houston, Texas. He started off playing the piano but soon found a passion in violin instead. He has been playing the violin since the age of 8 and is currently under the teachings of Tong Yan.

Alex has participated in the TMEA region orchestra for four straight years since the beginning of middle school to his freshman high school year. In 6th grade, he was placed in the Philharmonic Orchestra, but for the next three years, he was able to make the Symphony Orchestra as well as being the top few chairs in his last two middle school years. Alex has also participated in the middle school UIL Solo & Ensemble and has earned three outstanding performance awards from different judges along with 1’s from group performances.

Throughout his high school years, Alex has hosted numerous virtual recitals for Vivace International School of Music as well as volunteering in other events for them such as live concerts. Besides playing the violin, Alex also enjoys playing basketball, exercising, and solving different kinds of Rubik’s cubes.

Andrew Yang is a freshman at Memorial High school in Houston, Texas. He started playing violin at the age of 8 and is currently studying under Bo Yu. 

In 6th grade, Andrew was a member of the Spring Branch Middle School Camerata Orchestra before moving to Chamber in 7th grade. He participated in the TMEA region in 7th grade as a 2nd violin in the Symphony Orchestra. Andrew has shown exponential growth since then meeting great players who he says “inspire him to improve and surpass them”. Currently, Andrew is a first violin in the TMEA High School Symphony Orchestra and hopes to improve in the coming years.

Besides playing violin, Andrew is a member of the MHS varsity tennis team which continuously goes to state each year. He enjoys cooking, reading, watching Youtube, practicing, and procrastinating about practicing.

Andrew Yang
Application Manager