Mr. Wong addresses the audience before his final show. (Courtesy/Cindy Wilson)
Mr. Wong’s final Academy orchestra concert took place in the Dining Hall on Wednesday, April 13. The orchestra performed “Habanera” by George Bizet, a modern rendition of “Fantasia” featuring Vernon W on viola, followed by the advanced orchestra’s arrangement of Gershwin’s “American in Paris.” In the culmination of the concert, the orchestras combined to form a sixty-person ensemble, performing “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay and “The Greatest Showman,” honoring Wong’s hard work and Academy legacy.
Wong leads Academy’s orchestral students over three divisions and manages his presence and on Youtube, with 33,000 subscribers to his channel. He began experimenting with violin looping and recording unique covers, which quickly gained traction on the platform. His cover of “Happy” by Pharrell William was featured on Good Day America.
Wong will be moving to upstate New York at the end of the school year to be closer to family and to perform and to continue his private teaching. He describes his final concert as, “more emotional than I thought it was going to be. I’ve taught these seniors for four years. Seeing them grow from 9th graders to seniors about to graduate was a lot. I felt the love in the room.”
Wong’s favorite memory was when he took his seniors to watch violinist Itzhak Perlman perform in Cincinnati on April 10. Wong says, “As a teacher, you don’t always know the effect that you might have on those students and the effect that they have on you. It’s definitely bittersweet.”
Davey A says, “Having been with Mr. Wong since freshman year . . . he is nothing short of remarkable. Quite possibly the most well-liked teacher I’ve ever had, Mr. Wong has a unique way of being a phenomenal teacher while also being something even more to us: a friend. Someone we laugh with every day while learning so much from him at the same time . . . we will miss him so much.”
Thank you, Mr. Wong, for your lasting impact on the students of Columbus Academy. We wish you the best on your ventures in New York.