Joo Yun Preece, violin
Joo Yun Preece has been a member of the Grand Rapids Symphony since the 2017-18 season. Originally from Busan, South Korea, Jo began her musical studies at age 4, beginning with piano and adding violin a year later. After immigrating to Dansville, Michigan, at age 10, she continued studying the violin, attending the Meadowmount School of Music, Interlochen Arts Academy, Chautauqua Music Festival, and National Repertory Orchestra in Breckenridge, Colorado.
Jo earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in violin performance from Michigan State University, studying violin with I-Fu Wang and Dmitri Berlinsky, and chamber music with Natalia Khoma. It was during her chamber music studies that Jo met her future husband, Will, who was assigned to be the cellist in her quartet. After earning their graduate degrees at MSU, Jo and Will moved south, first to Memphis and then Little Rock, where Jo was a violinist for the Arkansas Symphony. She then founded the Faulkner Chamber Music Festival. For a decade, Jo worked with more than 100 students and performed chamber music with renowned artists from around the world.
During her time in Chicago, Jo started a chamber music program at the Civic Orchestra, taught at the Merit School of Music, and served as the coordinator of the Music Institute of Chicago’s prestigious Academy program. Since moving to Grand Rapids, Jo has enjoyed experimenting with gardening, renovating a historic home in Heritage Hill with Will, and seeing the world anew through the eyes of her daughter, Mina. During the Grand Rapids Symphony’s 2018-19 season, continuing into the beginning of its 2019-20 season, Jo was part of the GRS staff as interim Director of Education. One of her current projects is the Heritage Hausmusik concert series, presenting intimate concerts in her neighborhood’s beautiful homes.
Will Preece, cello
Will Preece joined the Grand Rapids Symphony in 2011. Originally from Urbana, Illinois, he studied at Michigan State University, where he earned both bachelor's and master's degrees in cello performance. Before joining the Grand Rapids Symphony, he was a member of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and most recently was principal cellist of the Lansing Symphony Orchestra. Will is also one of the founders of the Faulkner Chamber Music Festival. He and his wife, violinist Joo Yun Preece, live in Heritage Hill with their daughter, Mina, and two brown dogs.
A scholarship in Will and Jo's name helps us carry on their legacy of bringing the joy of chamber music to Arkansas students from all backgrounds. The scholarship covers the cost of tuition for those with demonstrated need.