Fourth Grade Pianist Wows Audience at Carnegie Hall

Brittney Byrd
Fourth grade musician Katherine Huang was invited to play at one of the most eminent music venues in the world.
Imagine performing in front of a large audience at one of the most eminent music venues in the world. Your palms would sweat and your heart would race, and you may just want to retreat from the crowd. Handling nerves is a big part of being a successful musician, and a select few handle the spotlight gracefully. Fourth grade student, Katherine Huang, is one of those natural performers.

Katherine joined Matthew Loudermilk's piano studio at the International Music Academy in January 2018. She made wonderful progress and this fall was selected to represent IMA in their Student Showcase Concert at Carnegie Hall. Katherine travelled to New York and enjoyed performing in one of the most eminent music venues in the world.

“This experience showed her that her hard work pays off in fun ways,” said Kathy Yu Li, Katherine’s mother said.

Most young musicians would be nervous for such an experience, but Katherine maintained her composure.

“I have been to many rehearsals and performances since I started my piano class,” she said. “I have always seen curtains on stages and performers would come out from behind the curtains. In Carnegie Hall, there were two doors. We come out to the stage from behind one of the doors. I was very calm when I stood behind that door waiting for my turn. I told myself, I am just going to play as how I have been practicing.”
Katherine remembers the door opening and a bright light shining on the extra-large piano in center stage. Many hours of practice and her sparkling blush dress helped her feel confident.

“I focused on what my piano teacher, Dr. Matthew Loudermilk, had told me: ‘it's my moment, it's my stage,’” she said. “I walked up to the piano, hearing applause. I could not see where my mom was, but I knew she was there. After my play, I heard an even bigger applause and ‘Bravo!’ from people in the crowd. I stood up and turned to bow to the audiences. At that moment, I was so proud of myself.”

Katherine has attended Fort Bend Christian Academy since first grade. The lower school music program at FBCA involves a weekly 45-min lesson and practice time. During the first semester, they work on a Christmas mini-musical and during the second semester, they play percussion instruments, learn to play the recorder, study instrument families, composers and music genres.