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Genius of a Performing Arts High

Chapter 4.6 - Sorrowfully 6

Chapter 4: Sorrowfully 6

Looking at my phone while lying down, I saw a white screen.

[Improvement Concert Scoreboard]

Hmm it was quite nerve racking. The result of the Improvement Concert – it was time for that result to come out.


After a little hesitation, I pressed on the link with my eyes closed, to summon the popup screen. Squinting my eyes open, I glanced at the words.

[Freshmen Improvement Concert Performance Ranking]

1st Place: Kim Wuju 100 points

1st Place: Lee Suh-ah 100 points

3rd Place: Chloe Denjelle 96 points

4th Place: Jo Yunjae 95 points


Un? Am I seeing things?

With blinking eyes, I double checked and found the same words.

4th Place. Jo Yunjae. 95 points.

95 points – only 5 points less than that Kim Wuju and Lee Suh-ah.

A little scream of ‘Ohh’ escaped. Iya... I got a higher score than I thought. Is this the power of a good selection of song? I don’t think I deserved such a high mark though.


Having a mark I could never have imagined back during the admission, a little croon came out subconsciously and things from the past resurfaced.

Back then, when I received the Improvement Concert timetables.

How depressed was I seeing my name hanging on the second week?

But I have succeeded in protecting my Improvement Concert and I had confidence in the mid-sem exams. There were too many students that didn’t study including the Opera department so as long as I could somehow triumph over Lee Suh-ah who studied quite a bit, a full scholarship was not merely a dream.


Grinning and checking the scores over and over again, I went over to the next tab which read [My evaluations]. Pressing on that link, more than a hundred evaluations appeared.

Evaluations, so what the freshmen music department students felt after listening to my song – I read one by one slowly.

Long posts, short posts, evaluations that focused on some main parts and ones that were done without much thought... there were a variety of them. Glancing through all that, I picked up only the practical ones.


...Overall it was a great performance, but it gave off a feeling that it was just soft. On some parts, wouldn’t it have been better to go louder...

With a nod, I copied the evaluation and pasted it into the memos. Indeed, because I was lacking breath, I had only sung softly. This kind of feedback is good.

Like that, I quietly went through the feedback on the positives and negatives of the performance when familiar names started to come out one by one.

[Jun Shihyuk]

...It was quite good.

His evaluations were actually quite positive. He didn’t write anything about my negatives? I became slightly nervous seeing his name so that was quite unexpected.

Next, was Han Dasom.

[Han Dasom]

...Overall it was so good. I’m not saying this because we’re friends... actually, are we even friends... I don’t know.

Why did she write a letter when she was supposed to write an evaluation? Does she not know that it would be read by me and the teacher?

Tilting my head, I went over to the next evaluations.

Noh Jusup, Kim Wuju and so on. Seeing familiar names made me grin while some baseless criticisms had me shrugging my shoulders as well, but it was interesting in general.

I was humming through when a strange evaluation appeared.


...PS) This pulling thing towards the ends of the words, can you not do them? Legit sounds like an old man. Also don’t eat stuff like chocolate and eat things that are good for the body.

Suddenly I felt my temperature rising.

What do you mean ‘like an old man’. It’s pissing me off.

I read on with deep breaths but realised it was strangely detailed. Talking specifically about chocolate... isn’t this Lee Suh-ah?

Enraged, I immediately sent a message to Lee Suh-ah.

[Me: Oi, this was your evaluation right —]

When I attached an image with it, the phone immediately rang signalling a reply.

[Lee Suh-ah: I don’t know who wrote it but there’s nothing wrong (laughing emote)]

Is that how you want to play it?

With twitching hands, I manipulated the phone to find an audio file. Here it was, a recording file from the lessons that I had hidden deep.

[Lee Suh-ah humiliation.m4a]

I double checked just in case and it played the sound properly. A ‘huek’ sound like the screech of a chicken. This was a humiliating voice that Lee Suh-ah had let out during the Concerted Music lesson.

It seemed like there was a mistake whilst making a high note but that wasn’t important. The only important fact was that Lee Suh-ah was extremely embarrassed by it.

Smiling like a villain, I immediately send the file.

[Me: Lee Suh-ah humiliation.m4a]

As soon as a sign that she had read the messages appeared, the phone vibrated.

[Lee Suh-ah: Ah what the heck is this!!!]

[Lee Suh-ah: Delete it right now!!!!]

[Me: zzz]

Ah it’s so funny. Lying on the bed, I grinned and laughed resulting in Noh Jusup next to me staring at me like I was crazy.

“What you doing?”

“Kukuk. In the middle of teasing Lee Suh-ah.”

Seeing my phone vibrate like crazy, Noh Jusup made a bitter face and heaved a sigh.

“Haa... good times.”

What’s this young’un saying?

After shaking his head acting old, Noh Jusup suddenly opened his mouth.

“Hey hey, did you see that? You guys were on youtube.”


When I tilted my head, he rolled all the way over till he was next to me and raised his phone up. I looked at it to see what it was and found a youtube video on the screen.

[The daily lives of Future Arts High students]

Noh Jusup pressed on the play button, and the video played from his phone – a scene of the familiar entrance of Future Arts High was visible.

Ah... I think I know what this is going to be about.

With a grin I stared at it and of course,

Suddenly Han Dasom and I appeared in front of the entrance and after a short conversation we started singing.


After one song, the video ended with me pointing things out to Han Dasom.

It’s pretty interesting, did someone take it on the way?

Lying back down on the bed, I opened my mouth.

“Someone must’ve taken it. Why so much fuss for something like that?”

“No, but the number of views on this is quite high.”

“How many?”

Giving a short reply I was about to resume my breathing practice when Noh Jusup’s voice entered my ears from the side.


In the middle of breathing in, I stopped.


It was higher than I thought. While I was a little stiff, Noh Jusup grinned and continued.

“Hey there’s a lot of comments as well. Hukuk. They say you guys look good together? Hohoo~”

Letting his comment in one ear and out the other, I was practising when a sudden thought had my head tilt.

“But it’s just two students singing a chorus, does that normally get that many views?”

Scratching his stomach, he replied.

“Ah~ This is a channel run by Song Mirae. It’s quite popular? There’s quite a few subscribers.”

“Song Mirae?”

When did she come and take a video?

I soon lost interest after some thought and indulged in breath training. Opera singing was also a job that needed popularity to go on, so having videos taken would mean a higher number of people knowing us and was definitely a good thing.

There was also the thought that, what could 100k views do to our lives?


But... the effect of youtube was quite big.

These days when I came out to practise with Han Dasom, people would come up one by one and start conversations. It felt like we were famous people within the school or something.

“Ohh, you’re practising today as well?”

“Looking good!”

“Do you take recommendations? Huhu.”

Giving out a big yawn, I replied with a lax voice.

“We take recommendations. Only girls’ songs.”


Glancing towards the side, I found Han Dasom staring at me with a shocked face. I made an expression that said, what?, and she made a teary expression in reply.


“You need to sing a variety of songs to gain confidence.”


There was something different after my Improvement Concert. Here, Han Dasom should’ve been making a pout saying she did not want to do it, but she became oddly compliant. And even now, she quietly nodded her head and got in preparation to sing.

A freshman who I did not know the name of raised his hand after grinning at our interaction for a bit.

“Then please sing If by Chaeyeon!”


Crossing my arms, I stared at Han Dasom closing her eyes, getting her emotions ready.

Singing a variety of songs. Although I said it like a joke, it was true that it was effective in gaining confidence. Instead of singing one familiar song over and over again, getting recommendations and singing various songs was a lot better.

The reason was simple.

Let’s say you were singing a familiar song. Then, because it’s a song that you already know, the body can sing it without you trying. Like that, the mind is free enough to care about the surroundings and the more you care about the surroundings, the more your body will shrink thus ruining the sound.

Look at that.

By singing a new song, she was fully immersed in trying to sing to the best of her ability that her actual voice was slowly coming out.

“Because I’m really like a fool~ Even though I can’t say I like you...”

Her voice tingled the inside.

Iya, I thought it was just her voice that was good but she was also good at putting emotions in. With a nod, I listened to her cappella when a familiar face appeared at a distance.

I raised my head up and found Song Mirae skipping past with a joyous mood. At a closer inspection, I could see her talking alone with a selfie stick and appeared like she was filming for a youtube video.

That’s what she filmed us with huh.

After talking into the phone for a while, she finally found us singing off in the distance.


With a start, she became a bit embarrassed and hid the selfie stick behind her back.

She didn’t have to hide it though.

When I kept on examining her, she became flustered and with the selfie stick still behind her, she walked back and ran away.


Seeing Song Mirae disappear from my vision, I shrugged my shoulders and returned my eyes back to the side and saw Han Dasom singing quite a likeable song.

“...we could even become strangers~”

Good, Han Dasom was almost ready. Was the test for Concerted Music next week? It shouldn’t be a problem.

After the Improvement Concert which I had been preparing for ended, I felt a lot more relaxed. Watching the clouds pass by, I listened to her sing.


Of course, Future Arts High wasn’t an easy school that would allow someone to ever relax.

End-of-the-day meeting.

After teacher Kang Heewon stepped onto the podium, she clapped her hands before opening her mouth.

“Everyone, are you doing well at school?”


Seeing the students replying like zombies, she gave a wide smile.

That teacher’s smiling again.

I heaved a sigh feeling ominous and of course, she dropped a bomb with a happy smile.

“Guys! Do you know what I brought today? It’s the list of prac songs that would be in the prac exams!”

To the announcement, the entire class became restless.


“Another exam?”

“I need to practise for the concours!”

Without caring about the outcries of the students, she continued the explanation.

“Prac exams. You know universities care a lot about prac exam scores as well right? Besides the highest-achieving students with great prac marks would earn the right to attend in the Prac High-achievers Concert, as well as get good positions in the Subscription Concert. Not to mention how important it is in terms of final marks. So practise hard!”


The students’ faces turned bleak.

Really, there was no time to relax.

With the usual high school subjects, as well as Improvement Concert, Concours, Concerted Music, and now there was the Prac exam on top of all this. If I were doing concours as well, then there really wouldn’t have been any time to study.

Glancing around, I could hear sighs and cries.

“Hey what’s the prac song?”

“The Well-tempered clavier by Bach...”

“For Flute, we have to draw lots!”

Amongst the rowdy students, I used my phone to open the announcements.

Hmm... the opera department is...

One Italian song and one German song.

While I was in deep thought deciding which songs to sing, Noh Jusup lay down on the table next to mine and gave out complaints.

“Sigh... There’s also the concour’s preliminaries next week, and I need to prepare for the Improvement Concert as well... what do I do... it might’ve been better to just do the Improvement Concert early on like you did.”

Look at this guy talk. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence yeah?

“Oi you, I remember you laughing when we found out I was in the second week.”

“Did I know it would be like this... Ah! I want to come first at prac and stand solo on the Subscription Concert as well...”


The Subscription Concert.

It was indeed a great honour. Being a recital not just for our students but with plenty of outsiders visiting as well, it was the opportunity to raise your fame and also a chance to perform in front of hundreds of people.

Also for the Prac High-achievers Concert, scouts who were looking for young talents would gather so there was no need to further emphasise on the importance of prac exams. The kids were probably in this rowdy atmosphere exactly because they knew of the importance.

I could hear voices from the side.

“The piano department is definitely going to be Chloe in the first place and who else? Ah! Isn’t the competition too rough?”

“What do you even mean? For opera there’s Kim Wuju and Lee Suh-ah, those two blocking the way. I can’t even compete with them.”

“That Jo Yunjae? Wasn’t he good as well?”

“Even then, compared to Kim Wuju and Lee Suh-ah...”

“Hey he’s right next to us.”

When I slowly turned my gaze over, I could see the noisy students closing their mouths, trying to read my mood.

“Uhum, let’s go.”

“Ah~ I need to go for my lesson.”

Noh Jusup turned his head towards me and smiled.

“Don’t you also want to come first place in prac and go to the Prac High-achievers Concert?”


I suddenly remembered the past.

Freshmen Prac High-achievers Concert.

In the past, Kim Wuju and Lee Suh-ah naturally came first and second respectively and had performed from the opera department. I who was staring at them from a dark corner of the hall,

Quit the school with that as the last concert.

Suddenly feeling a little prick on my hand, I raised it up and on that young hand, there was a little piece of wood stuck inside. Perhaps it had gotten in while I was rubbing the table in thought.

Although I got rid of the wood with a few taps, the small wound still remained. Gazing at the throbbing wound, I opened my mouth.

“... I do want to try.”

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