“In order to reach the top of one’s field, a person must set a definite goal. However, the most important thing is not to give up the dream,” said Shin Hye-ri who is studying Vocal Music at Hanyang University(HYU). On April 22, 2015, she won the second place prize for the Soprano Division at the 41st Joong-ang Music Concours, which is one of the most prestigious music competitions in Korea. The concours has been known to produce high profile musicians, including a world famous soprano singer, Jo Su-mi.
In the concours, Shin sang three songs, Blossoms in the Mountains, Bester Jungling and Je Suis Titania. The examiners evaluated her as “she is a soprano with the stabilized and abundant voice and power of delivering and expression. They also said that she is excellent in understanding the musical.”
Shin began studying vocal music when she was a high school student and later, she entered the Department of Voice at HYU. However, when she became a sophomore, she experienced a big emotional slump. “Back then I was frustrated with my singing, but my heart for vocal music did not change. I continued to practice again and again, and I finally overcame the slump. Of course, I worried about my career path because there are so many competent people in my field, and I did not think I was as competent enough. However, I thought I would regret my decision if I give up just because I have less ability compared to others,” she recalled.
Her perseverance helped her to practice vocal music harder, and she gained confidence as a result. She began to spend more time practicing alone than taking lessons so that she could make the songs her own as well as study every note and lyric. This routine became the winning combination behind her recent prize.
After overcoming her slump, her passion for vocal music became more profound and she now says she hopes the genre to become more widely appealing to the public. “There are still many people who find vocal music too difficult to appreciate,” said Shin. She added, “Efforts on the parts of both the media and public are needed for the popularization of vocal music. If vocal music is presented more frequently, the public will begin paying more attention to it, and in turn, they will learn to appreciate the result.”
In the future, Shin said she wants to prepare well for upcoming competitions and perform without any regrets. Her goal is to improve her skills and to perform various genres perfectly through constant effort and practice. Her unwavering commitment toward her dream will undoubtedly prove to be the motivation behind her future musical accomplishments. To those struggling to reach their own goals, Shin advises, “Once you find your dream, just go with it.”