Above & Beyond: Robert Hwang
Meet Robert Hwang, a senior at Sioux City North High School. You may recognize his name as the soloist from the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra's most recent holiday concert.
"I've never played for so many people," Robert says. "It was definitely the largest crowd I've ever played in front of. It was such a great opportunity."
Robert's no stranger to the symphony. He has played with the Siouxland Youth Orchestra for several years. While a devoted musician, that passion does not stay confined inside the walls of the Orpheum Theatre.
Robert also has a passion for science and research, one that you could say goes out of this world.
"My freshman year, I got the opportunity to design an experiment that I sent to NASA," Robert says. "I designed this experiment and we were able to send it into space!"
That's right. Robert created a science project, analyzing the effect of peanut allergies on astronauts in space. Because the immune system is suppressed while in space, he hypothesized allergic reactions would be less severe. He found the reactions were indeed slightly less severe.
"I personally have peanut allergies, so that's kinda where I got the idea from," Robert says.
Those around Robert, especially musicians in the symphony, recognize the passion he has for what he does.
"I think Robert is the kid that we all wish we could be," says Travis Morgan, CEO of the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra. "He's smart in every sense of the word, he takes every piece that we want to succeed at in life, and it seems like this kid has already done it!"
"Science and music are two things that bring a lot of people together," says Robert. "It's a really universal thing that people come together to do no matter what race or where they're from or where your background is."
Robert doesn't just have his musical and research achievements. He serves as a hospital volunteer at Mercy Medical Center, too.
He plans to study science in college, with the hope of pursuing a music minor as well.
If you'd like to nominate someone for Above and Beyond, you can visit the page here.