In recognition of violins donated to the Emory University Symphony Orchestra (valued at over $350,000), the EUSO has established two named chairs to honor the generosity and contributions of these distinguished donors: The Joel M. Felner, MD Concertmaster Chair, and The Edward Goodwin Scruggs Principal Second Violin Chair.
Joel M. Felner is associate dean at the Emory University School of Medicine; Edward Goodwin Scruggs was for thirty-seven years a tenured member of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. The lives of both men represent distinguished careers and great philanthropy as patrons of music and friends of Emory University. The EUSO Concertmaster plays a 1687 Grancino (Milan) and the Principal Second an 1870 Scarampella (Brescia).
Recent Chair Holders:
Kaito Mimura (Concertmaster/Principal Second) is a Chemistry and Music double major. He began playing the violin at the age of three when his grandfather gave him his very first violin and soon after, began violin lessons with his mother. As a New Jersey native, he was surrounded by the diverse music scene in both New York City and Philadelphia, where his major mentors were Richard Rood and J Freivogel. Prior to attending Emory University, Kaito held the positions of Concertmaster for the Youth Chamber Orchestra at Temple University Music Prep’s Center for Gifted Young Musicians as well as the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra under the baton of Luis Biava and Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Over the summers, he participated in the Castleman Quartet Program, Bowdoin International Music Festival, and was invited to the Verbier Junior Festival Orchestra in Switzerland where he played alongside Mischa Maisky, Richard Goode, and James Gaffigan. At Emory, he was a student of Jessica Wu of the Vega Quartet.
Yihoon Shin (Concertmaster/Principal Second) is a chemistry major and economics minor. He began playing the violin at age 5, and studied with Jay Christy of the Atlanta Symphony during his time at Emory. Yihoon thoroughly enjoyed his musical experience at Emory, devoting hours to orchestral, solo, and chamber music while pursuing his academic studies. He played in a handful of masterclasses for renowned violinists like Soovin Kim and Geneva Lewis. During the pandemic, he was on the founding team of an orchestral student association to connect EUSO members, and helped produce a virtual EUSO to have concerts from home. At Emory, Yihoon served as chapter president of a multicultural fraternity called Sigma Beta Rho, played on his church worship team, filmed YouTube videos, and enjoyed producing music. He is endlessly grateful for the support of his friends and mentors at Emory, and wishes to still dedicate a lot of his time to music after graduating.
Christy Song (Principal Second, Concertmaster) double majored in Biology and Music Performance on the pre-med track. She started playing the violin at age 3 and studied with Jessica Wu of the Vega Quartet at Emory. She also studied the flute with James Zellers. Christy has participated in numerous master classes with esteemed violinists such as David Coucheron and Geneva Lewis. Throughout her time at Emory, Christy cherished the invaluable opportunities to perform in the orchestra, chamber ensembles, and as a soloist, while maintaining a strong dedication to her academic pursuits. Christy served as one of the co-presidents of the Emory Orchestral Student Association, an Academic Fellow for Emory International students, treasurer of the Korean Undergraduate Student Association, and service chair of the medical fraternity Phi Delta Epsilon. She is grateful to her family, professors, and friends for their support, and wishes to inspire and motivate others to pursue their passions through her experiences at Emory.
Scruggs Orchestral Prize Winners
The Scruggs Orchestral Prize – est. 2023 for the 100th Anniversary of the EUSO- acknowledges two seniors (one from the wind, brass, and percussion sections and one from the strings section) for extraordinary musicianship, leadership, and professionalism over their four years as EUSO members.
Nathan Muz, Bassoon
Christy Song, Violin