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What are the best and worst things about having a Juilliard family member?


Maria Semes
The best thing about being at a school with my sister—especially one who I am mistaken for regularly—is that if I do something embarrassing I can easily convince people that it was her. The worst thing about having a sister here is that I’m never alone.
Fourth-year violinist Maria Semessister of second-year violinist, Clare Semes


C Semes

What I like most about having a sister at school with me is that I am never alone. What I hate most is that whenever she does something embarrassing or stupid people think it is me since we look do similar.
Second-year violinist Clare Semes, sister of fourth-year violinist Maria Semes

Dima Dimitrova
I only go back home to Bulgaria once a year max, so it was really important to me that I have an older family member to look after me, share my highs and lows—and of course spend the holidays with.
Fourth-year violinist Dima Dimitrova, sister of Teodora Dimitrova (B.M. ’08, M.M. ’10, violin)

Elizabeth Fayette
The best thing about having a sibling at Juilliard is that they know all the inside information—the best work-study jobs, the most interesting professors, and how to guarantee a practice room. So far, there have been no drawbacks.
First-year violinist Elizabeth Fayette, sister of third-year cellist Madeline Fayette

Dae Hee Ahn
Pros: She is a great pianist. And what do all violinists need? An accompanist. Cons: If we ever get in a fight, it’s a pain traveling together to school.
Third-year violinist Dae Hee Ahn, sister of second-year pianist Dae Hyung Ahn

Julia Choi
I love that I can watch over her and tell her what to do or not to do—and stay over with her when I have late rehearsals. The downside of her being at Juilliard? She’s lucky because I can’t think of any cons right now.
Third-year violinist Julia Choi, sister of first-year cellist Jennifer Choi

Jennifer Choi
The best thing is my sister can help me with anything, especially ear training and theory. Also, it was easier to get to know people—and now I’m friends with her friends.
First-year cellist Jennifer Choi, sister of third-year violinist Julia Choi

Kei Sugiyama
Whatever challenges you may be facing, chances are he faced them too, and just listening to how he dealt with them is valuable.
Fourth-year violinist Kei Sugiyama, brother of Ko Sugiyama (M.M. ’08, violin)

Mary Chieffo
I am learning and creating in the same rooms my dad and so many other incredibly talented artists did when they were my age, and talking to him about my work reminds me how rich and full the history of the School is. 
First-year drama student Mary Chieffo, daughter of Michael Chieffo (Group 6)

Anna Hoopes
Sometimes people get us confused—we have the same distinct hair color—but it’s fun bumping into each other in the halls and being there for each other in rough times. 
Third-year violist Anna Hoopes, sister of second-year violinist Alexandra Hoopes

Alexandra Hoopes
I love it because we completely understand each other’s insane schedules. We can also talk about anything and everything. The worst is getting my sister’s mail.
Second-year violinist Alexandra Hoopes, sister of third-year violist Anna Hoopes

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