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Welcome the School Music Idol

June, 2009
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Jang (1)  The night of April 23rd would certainly be memorable for JaeHee Jang, an 11th grader at Beijing City International School (BCIS). On that night, he outperformed everybody else and won the BCIS Idol contest; from that day forward, teachers and students call him “Mr. BCIS Idol” on campus…

  "It’s great honor for me… It was just amazing that I did what I could do,” said Jang. “I think I play guitar pretty well, (and) with my partner Daphney, we sing well.”

  Jang’s show at the contest was singing “When You Look Me in the Eyes” by the Jonas Brothers together with Daphney Mnisi, one of his best friends in class. Jang was also playing guitar while singing. He and his partner practiced for around three weeks for the show.

  Originally from South Korea, Jang came to Beijing in 2004 when he was in the 7th grade. At that time, he started to go to the SungSam Korean Church every Sunday.

  Then he joined a worship team at the church in 8th grade. Worship team is generally a band at church, and is quite different from choir. They usually play instruments and lead the worship songs before the pastor’s speech. One music instrument that especially fascinated Jang was guitar.

  “The songs they played were basically gospel songs (a little bit jazzy and rock)… I was just so fascinated by those people who played guitar and that motivated me to practice guitar.” This is also the main reason why Jang always like to play gospel with guitar.

  After spending 3 years at a local Chinese school, he went to the USA as an exchange student. When he was in the USA, he joined the worship team there, too.

  “It actually helped me to adapt to a strange place,” said Jang, “For example, every time I’m exhausted from school work, I play guitar to relax and rest… If I did not have music, my life would have been much harder.”

  Last year he came back to Beijing again, and attended Beijing City International School.Jang (4)

  Encouraged by his music teacher, Jang decided to take part in the Idol competition as he believes the idol competition is “a great opportunity for every student to showcase his or her abilities.” Jang wanted to perform his music to his schoolmates so that he could know how good he is, or where he could improve.

  Jang attributes his interest in music to his mum. Although none of his parents play any musical instruments, his mum always played music CDs while he was sleeping throughout his childhood. Later on, he learned to play piano when he was about 7 years old.

  “Music is my life and my life is music,” said the boy who loves Jazz and gospel songs - his favorite band is Hillsong, a contemporary Christian music band. “Music is a great tool that I can use to get along with other people as well, and my guitar is one of my best friends.”

  Nowadays, Jang continues to play guitar after school, and goes to Beijing Grace Korean Church to play gospel songs there on weekends. “We have practices every Saturday for 2 hours. On Sundays, we meet at 8 o’clock and service starts at 9 o’clock. I was so glad that I could worship God by playing a musical instrument, and that’s the reason why I have kept playing until now.”

  His definition for success is simple: “If I am happy from it, I would say it is a success. If I plan something and I reach my plan or my aim, I would say that’s my success.”


By Qin Chuan

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