Profile of Chrissy Jung ’24: Key Club President and Violinist Extraordinaire

Chrissy Jung is the Concertmaster of the Bronx Science Orchestra and a member of the New York Youth Symphony amongst other musical achievements, and she also serves her community as Key Club President.


Jacey Mok

Chrissy Jung ’23 hopes to continue her musical pursuits, “I’m thinking of minoring in music [in college]. If I do not end up doing that, then I will definitely continue with music as a hobby. I don’t want to lose interest in it.”

 It is fourth period inside of the Bronx Science music room, and Chrissy Jung ’24 sits as the First-chair violinist as the orchestra Concertmaster. She leads the orchestra into their practice. 

Chrissy Jung is the Bronx Science Orchestra Concertmaster amidst a slew of other music accolades. She has been playing the violin for 11 years, ever since she was 6 years old. 

Her story starts in the suburbs of Illinois where she lived with her family – a fact that always serves as a surprise to new acquaintances. Jung was a former Concertmaster for the Chicago Youth Symphony. After living in the Midwest for over a decade, Jung and her family moved to New York City in 2019. Moving to the city served as a huge dynamic to suburban life, but it also provided her with a number of fantastic opportunities to hone her violin skills (while playing the piano on the side). Since then, she has gone on to make great strides in the music sphere, and she dedicates a large amount of time to practice. 

New York Youth Symphony (NYYS)

Most notably, Jung is currently a violinist for the New York Youth Symphony (NYYS), one of the most prestigious youth symphony orchestras in the nation. Each year, hundreds of musicians ages 12-22 audition for a spot in the renowned ensemble. Jung rehearses with the symphony every Sunday.

Recently, the symphony’s debut album won a Grammy for Best Orchestral Performance in February 2023, a feat that shattered records as the first youth orchestra to do so. The youth based ensemble was nominated alongside other world-renowned orchestras, such as the Berlin Philharmonic. The NYYS youth musicians celebrated the spectacular Grammy win. 

The NYYS is well acquainted with prestige. In July 2021, the ensemble collaborated with Billy Ray Cyrus for CNN’s annual July Fourth performance, Fourth in America.

“Honestly it’s the community and the opportunities I’ve got to have [at NYYS],” said Jung when reflecting on her experience. 

New York Philharmonic Orchestra (MSM)

Jung is also a violinist for the New York Philharmonic Orchestra for the Manhattan School of Music (MSM) where she takes pre-college music classes every Saturday. From music theory lessons to chamber orchestra rehearsals, MSM offers a college day experience to its musicians. The music school consists of multiple orchestras for different skill levels, all of which are audition-based, with The Philharmonic Orchestra being the highest level. 

Though it is only her first year at MSM, she has already risen to the position of Concertmaster of the ensemble. “It also comes with a lot of responsibilities, you’re in charge of leading your section in … cueing, and for MSM I send out very detailed notes, and fingerings, and bowings for every person to practice. It’s a lot of time commitment but in the end, it pays off,” said Jung.

Ever since transitioning from private lessons to taking classes at a music school, Jung enjoys the new, collaborative environment. Despite her title as Concertmaster, Jung admits that there is still much to learn from her fellow musicians.

“There’s always a lot to learn from your peers, and even though I have the title of Concertmaster, I never feel like I’m a better player than anyone around me, because some of them are really great musicians and I constantly need help from them,” said Jung.

She embodies the heart of a leader: gifted, hardworking, and selfless. Her community-oriented focus towards her ensembles, along with her humble approach and openness, enables her to be a leader who is actively connected to her peers. 

New York All-State Music Conference

In April 2023, Chrissy Jung (far left) was chosen to play in the All-Eastern Symphony Orchestra – an ensemble comprised of musicians from the East Coast. (Photo provided by Chrissy Jung)

Jung’s musical accolades extend far past the metropolitan area. In December 2022, she was chosen to play in the New York All-State conference, a prestigious conference for the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA). Each year, thousands of students audition for the hope of playing in the conference, but only 600 musicians (9% of applicants) are selected. When asked if she was ever nervous during auditions, Jung replied, “I’ve never not been nervous at an audition.” 

During the conference, musicians from across New York State convene in Rochester, New Yokr to rehearse for three days – from Thursday until their Sunday concert.

The All-State conference provides the perfect opportunity to meet a diverse set of students from across New York state who share the same passion for music. From rehearsals together to rooming with new people from around New York state, Jung says she has made terrific connections from the conference. 

“They mix it up on purpose so you’re not near people in your area.”

In April 2023, Jung was also chosen to play in the All-Eastern conference in Kodak Hall at the Eastman Theatre, pushing the boundaries of her talents past the New York region. 

Violin Tutoring

Behind an accomplished violinist is a network of mentors, teachers, and experience. Jung found support and mentorship in a program called Through the Staff, a non-profit organization created to provide music students with free, quality music education. 

“I needed a mentor for violin during the COVID-19 pandemic; not many teachers were willing to teach online, and the prices for paying online [were expensive] … and this program allowed me to meet a really great teacher who gave me weekly lessons for free,” said Jung. 

Through the Staff was created during the early weeks of the pandemic to solve the exact dilemma that Jung faced. After stumbling upon the organization, she found a dedicated violin mentor to guide her in her endeavors. TTS has served as a gamechanger for many young musicians, like Jung, who were able to hone their skills under the guidance of an experienced mentor. 

“This program is completely virtual and every student is guaranteed either 30 minutes or one hour of private lessons per week, all depending on level of playing, age, and area of study. TTS not only provides free lessons, but opportunities to perform for others online, masterclasses, and financial assistance with music materials,” said Jung.

Later on, she became a volunteer staff member for the program in hopes of providing other students with the same mentorship that the program graciously provided her with years ago. 

“I wanted to pay back, and I’m also doing this as a staff member this time.” 

She currently tutors three violin students virtually. She says that it is a rewarding experience to watch their gradual growth.

Key Club

Every Thursday, the third floor hallway outside of room 336 overflows with Key Clubbers flocking to their weekly meeting, as Jung and the rest of the board welcome the eager club members with friendly faces. 

Jung constantly seeks to give back to her community through service. It was this desire that led her to join Key Club during her ninth grade year of high school. Although it was hard to connect with fellow club members during the virtual meetings in the midst of the pandemic, Jung decided to immerse herself into the club by applying to become a Projects Committee Cohead. 

“The people I met in Key Club definitely served as a role model for me, and … I want to get more involved. Being a member is great, but I also wanted to see what happened behind the scenes,” said Jung.

Key Club is incredibly coordinated, with chapters on the state, national, and international level. The committee coheads are the backbone of the club, who work tirelessly to ensure that club activities run smoothly. As a Projects Cohead, Jung found weekly volunteering events that club members could attend to serve their community and was tasked with contacting venues and event coordinators. In the shadow of the pandemic, Jung had to be innovative in finding more virtual volunteer opportunities. 

Despite the tumultuous background of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jung and her fellow coheads were able to successfully lead Key Club through the service year. During her cohead term, she also created a new organization spreadsheet system to help future Project Coheads collaborate more effectively and efficiently. 

“Her boundless dedication to each of her commitments never ceases to amaze me. Watching her work tirelessly always inspires me to also do my best,” said Mandy Lim ’23, former Vice President of Key Club 2022-2023.

After fulfilling her role as Projects Cohead, Jung was elected as the club secretary for the next 2022-2023 service year. As Secretary, Jung was responsible for managing the email list and points-and-hours spreadsheet – a tediously long record of each member’s volunteer hours and points – while leading the club with the rest of the board.

Chrissy Jung made teddy bears for charity during the service fair of the 2023 Key Club Leadership Training Conference. (Photo provided by Chrissy Jung)

“Honestly if you look at the spreadsheet, it’ll look like taxes,” Jung remarked.

Since the transition from quarantine, Jung has facilitated major fundraising events. When asked about the biggest event Key Club has ever planned, she responded with two words: “Water Wars.” 

Water Wars is Bronx Science Key Club’s massive water play event filled with water balloons, field games, a picnic, and a pie-in-the-face fundraiser where attendees could pay $2-5 to pie a board member in the face. The event was met with a buzz of excitement from Key Club members and non-members alike. 

“Water Wars was a pain to plan, but it was so rewarding,” said Jung, “We had to figure out how to get around 8,000 water balloons, fill them up ourselves, and]bring them all into the park … we had all our coheads, the board, and we also had a few parents to drive back and forth. We met some people who were early in the park and people just jumped into the cars and helped to bring the water balloons back and forth.”

It was Key Club’s first time hosting Water Wars since the pandemic, meaning that none of the board members had ever attended a Water Wars event. Jung and the board had to plan Water Wars for months in advance, with no precedent to look up to. Nonetheless, they pulled through and the event was an enormous success, raising over $1,500 for UNICEF. 

“Chrissy always offers help in whatever way she can. Whether that means lending her house to make brownies for a meeting or lending [her] church to inflate thousands of water balloons, I’ve always been able to count on Chrissy to help turn our dreams into reality,” said Lim. 

Recently, Jung was elected as the next Key Club President during the 2023 club elections. The club hosts their elections in accordance with the Key Club International service year, which starts and ends in April. In order to run for board positions, candidates must ask two dues-paying club members to nominate them during the designated nominations period, after which they must accept both nominations. Unfortunately, Chrissy was sick during the nominations meeting, and therefore could not be physically present to accept the nomination. But she didn’t let this stop her; she coordinated with the board to accept the nomination via phone call, after which the present club members cheered her on. 

Chrissy was the only presidential nominee. During her speech, she spoke about her personal history to give members an authentic glimpse into her personal background and how Key Club has served as a welcoming place for her. She also highlighted her future ideas for the club, which included fostering deeper relationships within Key Club and connecting members to real-world change in their communities. 

Pictured are three members of Key Club’s 2022-2023 board (left to right): Mandy Lim ’23, Chrissy Jung ’24, and Melody Jiang ’24, who were awarded Outstanding Vice President, Outstanding Secretary, and Outstanding Treasurer, respectively. (Photo provided by Chrissy Jung)

“It’s surreal, because I didn’t expect myself to be leading Key Club as President, especially because I know how much responsibility it comes with and how much commitment it requires.” 

In late March 2023, the Bronx Science Key Club attended the Leadership Training Conference (LTC) in Albany, New York. At the conference, 52 out of the 261 New York club chapters attended workshops, awards ceremonies, and service projects to celebrate the past service year and equip members for the next year. The conference marked the start of the 2023-2024 service year, during which both individual and club awards were announced. 

“I am grateful for the members who allowed our club to reach the service hour goal I set for this year. They were truly committed to serving their community this year, volunteering for over 20,000 hours!” said Jung, referencing the community service hours that won Bronx Science the award for the ‘Most Service Hours per Member.’

The Bronx Science Key Club received numerous awards and accolades, some of which were received and coordinated by Jung. Her diligent secretarial work won her the Perfect Paperwork Award and the Distinguished Key Clubber Award. Most notably, Jung also won the Outstanding Secretary award for her phenomenal contributions – an award only given out to one club secretary in New York state each year. 

After two days of workshops and inter-club celebrations, the current board retired and passed down their positions to the newly elected board members, with Jung becoming the new club President. Despite the sentimental farewell to the past service year, Jung sets her eyes on the dawning horizon of opportunities and the chapter that lies ahead. 

“I feel like I can contribute a lot more to the club in this way, and I’m really excited to get to know new people; it’ll be a lot of interacting with other clubs from different schools and, of course, our new members like our underclassmen. I’m just excited to work with all of them,” said Chrissy Jung ’24.