Two Birmingham students heading to The Juilliard School - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Two Birmingham students heading to The Juilliard School

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BIRMINGHAM - AL -

Juilliard has less than 900 students representing 44 states and 46 foreign countries. 

It is rare for two students to be accepted from the same city.

18-year-old Will Hawley started playing trombone in middle school. He learned by playing classical music, but it didn't take long for him to fall in love with jazz.

"It is the American art form, and I love being able to just get up there and play whatever I comes to my mind," says Hawley.

Hawley, a graduate of Vestavia Hills High School spent years practicing, performing, and learning the intricacies of the instrument

"We don't have buttons (on trombones). You have to know right where everything is. You have to know, what to do with your lips, your chops, most of the same challenges you'd face with any brass instrument," said Hawley.

Hawley applied to five performing art schools, Juilliard was his first choice.

March 28th he heard sweet music. "I got a call saying, 'this is The Juilliard School, we're calling to congratulate you on your acceptance to the jazz studies program in New York City an I just dropped the phone and just threw my hands up really excited."

19-year-old Ji Na Kim, who had been attending the Alabama School of Fine Arts, also got accepted.

Kim, is half a world away right now, spending the summer in Korea with her family.

She plays piano and has a passion for classical music

"I was pretty excited, I started crying," Kim says recalling when she heard about her acceptance.

Kim will be back in the country in two weeks to begin preparing for the challenges Juilliard presents.

"Hopefully I can adapt to the new environment and learn more things, many many things, to better myself as a performer and person," said Kim.
     
Hawley still is trying to get used to the fact he is really going to the same school that has turned out some of the world's best performers.

"It's unbelievable, it's just so rewarding to see all your hard work put in and to say, yea I go to The Juilliard School. It's unbelievable and I can't wait to show people what Alabama really is about," says a beaming Hawley.

Hawley and Kim move into the dorms on August 26. Classes begin September 6.