Did you know: Constance Horng’s journey through music


Courtesy of Constance Horng

Constance Horng (11) performs at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall last year. Constance has been experimenting with music since she was five.

by Tiffany Wong, Aquila News Editor

Constance Horng (11) began playing the piano and violin at the age of five after her parents signed her up for her first music lessons. Now a member of both Harker’s Upper School Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra (SFSYO), Constance currently studies under San Francisco Conservatory of Music professor Chen Zhao and performs both as a soloist and in group ensembles.

“At first, music was just something that my parents started me off in as a hobby, but now I feel like it’s come to be a really integral part of my life,” she said. “I feel like if I wasn’t playing the violin now, my life wouldn’t be as complete.”

Although Constance did not enter Harker’s music scene until eighth grade, she became the concertmaster of the Middle School’s combined seventh and eighth grade orchestra that same year. By that time, she had already become well-acquainted with ensemble performance through participation in the California Youth Symphony’s Intermediate String Ensemble, Associate Orchestra and Senior Orchestra.

Throughout her music career, Constance has traveled to destinations both within and outside the United States for performances and recitals. Last summer, she toured Italy and Austria with the California Youth Symphony’s Senior Orchestra. For the past three years, Constance has also traveled to Carnegie Hall to play both as a soloist and, more recently, this past March as part of the Upper School Orchestra during its trip to New York.

“[Italy and Austria] was my first time traveling overseas with an orchestra. When you’re performing locally, you get to see a lot of familiar faces in the audience, and it’s a lot about performing for your family and friends,” she said. “On tour, you’re often playing for larger crowds of complete strangers and it’s a bit more intimidating, but it’s also fun to travel with a group. We don’t just perform in concerts but we also go sightseeing, and it was just a really great bonding experience.”

Constance was a winner of the Young Artist Award and the Best Bach Performance at the 2017 United States International Music Competition (USIMC) held at Stanford University this past August. She was also a winner of the United States Open Music Competition (USOMC) in 2016 and of the American Fine Arts Festival’s (AFAF) Golden Era of Romantic Music International Competition in 2015. As a pianist, she also won the American Protege Music Talent Competition and the USOMC in 2016, as well as the AFAF’s Golden Era of Romantic Music International Competition in 2015.

Having met her fair share of professional violinists while attending masterclasses and concerts, she cites Ray Chen and Midori Goto as the performers she looks up to the most. She offers the following advice to students interested in starting the violin.

Courtesy of Constance Horng
Constance Horng (11) poses with NBC Asian Pacific America host Robert Handa after a performance. Constance has been experimenting with music since she was five.

“At first, it might be challenging with working through technique and starting off with practicing,” she said. “For me, having the motivation to practice as a younger kid, when you don’t really know what you want for yourself yet and when you’re not as passionate for it, was difficult. You have to spend time to learn it and get better at it but afterwards, you really do come to enjoy it because it’s a way to channel your emotions and de-stress from the environment of school and of other things in life.”

Outside of music, Constance enjoys dancing, socializing with her friends and watching YouTube videos in her free time. She plans on continuing to perform as a member of both the Upper School Orchestra and SFSYO.