College Scholar Spotlight: Angelina Xing
2013 Jack Kent Cooke College Scholar Angelina Xing‘s moving essay, “Diary of Chopin Melodies,” has been published in The Curator, an online literary magazine. In it she describes different pieces of music as metaphorically representing the changing phases and emotions in her life after her older sister was diagnosed with leukemia. She writes, “soon, the constant IVs in JieJie’s arm prevented us from sharing our only common experience: playing music.”
“I felt like going through the experience of my sister’s illness was one of the most formative experiences of my life, whether or not I dared to admit it,” Angelina told us. “Perhaps it was music that helped me reconcile my raw emotions with the more developmental side of myself, the way I matured and evolved through the two episodes of her illness.”
Angelina’s college counselor at her high school and her JKCF educational adviser encouraged her to write about this difficult time in her life “because it clearly revealed so much about my upbringing and character.”
The different tones, tempos, and notes of the music parallel Angelina’s emotions. She describes her naivety when first learning of her sister’s diagnosis and compares it to the naïve yet comforting melody of Chopin’s “The Raindrop Prelude.” She also writes about the “intensity of the final D minor prelude” and how “the wide arpeggios [of Chopin’s Prelude No. 1] flourish effortlessly under capable hands” when she learns that she is a bone marrow match for her sister. She writes about getting to enjoy the music after the pains of practicing, furthering that sentiment that her joy is worth the pain when she donates her bone marrow to save her sister’s life.
“Music has always been an extension of my speech, and I think this is a fairly popular understanding of music’s impact on the musician,” she said. “It’s communication; it’s language. Without a doubt, music has always been there in times when I had difficulties in my life. It’s almost like a diary in which I confide my strongest, most raw emotions.”
In high school, Angelina volunteered as the children’s choir’s pianist at the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital at the Westchester Medical Center. Angelina attends Yale University and intends to major in international relations. In the future, she hopes to work in international policy in the Middle East. She says she also plans to play chamber music and take private lessons.
Congratulations to Angelina. We wish her family the best.