From the Top loves reaching out to the communities we visit on our tour! While we were in Dallas in January, we brought three young musicians to visit a group of teens at the Pleasant Grove Branch Library. Our soloists were Russell Houston (age 18, cello), Aakash Patel (age 19, violin), and Chase Dobson (age 16, composer) – all good friends from Dallas!
They shared some of their favorite pieces with the group, and talked about why they believe classical music is so cool. Russell shared that he loves the diversity of the repertoire and demonstrated this by sharing two very different pieces: the exciting Kodály Sonata for Solo Cello followed by a thoughtful Bach Prelude (from Suite No. 4 in E-flat Major). One teen in the audience went so far as to compare Russell’s Kodály performance to Van Halen!
Aakash gave the group another perspective, talking about the opportunities provided by learning an instrument. When he was first starting out on the violin, for example, he loved having the chance to perform his favorite movie music. He demonstrated this by playing the Star Wars and Godfather themes. Chase spoke from a composer’s perspective, sharing how music has the ability to give you a new “voice.” He talked about what it’s like to write new music and create something all your own, using his composition that we featured on our show (Piano Trio No.1 – “II. Sporting of the Gods) as an example.
Aakash also wanted to let the group know that anyone can do music, speaking about how he got started with nothing more than a $50 violin and YouTube videos for “lessons”. He shared that his From the Top performance with the Dallas Symphony was a “dream come true,” and that a love of music has made him the person he is today.