Senior Recital: David Park ’17

David Park ’17 is one of the most recognized pianists at Choate. We have all heard him on the piano at least once before, either through his various performances during weekly school meetings or his participation in orchestral works. Students and faculty alike have praised Park on his musical talents, regarding him as “brilliant” and “hardworking.”

Park is a senior from Glastonbury, Connecticut. Over the course of his four years at Choate, he has contributed immensely to the art community. He partakes in the multitude of Chamber Music Ensembles at Choate, performs with the Jazz Ensemble, and serves  as a pianist for the Choate Orchestra; additionally, he is a member of the Art’s Concentration program and is one-third of its Jazz Trio. However, music has been a part of his life for a much longer period of time than just his four years at Choate. He said, “I was introduced to music at a very young age. My dad was a self-taught pianist, and my sisters also played the piano.”

Unlike most pianists, Park was not classically trained. Instead, he started with playing the saxophone, then moved on to piano. He said, “I was always interested in playing the piano, but it was not until my first lesson that I truly fell in love with it. I think that the saxophone provided me with a background in jazz, and the style of the compositions translates to the way I improvise and play on the piano.”

This term, Park was finally able to show his ability as a solo pianist. His hard work of four years has finally come together in his senior recital. He explained, “As a freshman I watched my own friends perform their recitals, and I have always thought about that stage ever since.” He added, “A part of music itself is the performance. My end goal was always performing at my own senior recital; it was something I knew I needed to accomplish. I wanted to be able to share the way I feel, the way I think through my expression.”

Park took his artistic expression to the next level by showcasing nine of his self-composed musical pieces. Park explained, “I wanted people to connect and see my world. Music acts as a portal; it is a window into my life that I cannot express through any other form. I think this is the way it will always be.” When asked about the future of his music career he responded, “I really don’t know. I do not want to pursue music professionally, but I want it to always be a part of my life; something that continues to inspire me and bring me peace.”

Through his music, Park is able to convey moments that hold great meaning in his life to the audience. He brings his own quirks and habits to life. His piece “2 am” was inspired by his love for late night walks. He said, “I really like the silence and the serenity that comes during the night. It makes me feel like I am the only person in the world, not in a narcissistic way, but in a peaceful way. I like the stars, and how big the sky is. It puts me in my place.”

Although it is very easy to get lost in the beauty of Park’s improvisation skills, the composition that was most touching was titled “For My Mom.” He extrapolated on the title, saying “I never thought that I fully thanked my mom adequately enough. If she did not push me to take my first piano lesson I would not be where I am now. I wanted to thank her for supporting me through everything, and this was the only way I saw how.”

Park’s recital was filled with love; it was his goodbye to his friends, classmates, and teachers that have touched him at Choate. His recital was only the glimpse of what is to come in senior recitals.

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