March Musician of the Month Interview:
When did you start playing the viola?
“I started playing the viola at the age of 8 years old. So, I’ve been playing the viola for 26 years.”
What made you choose the viola?
“To be very honest, I fell in love with the sound of the viola the first time I heard it played. I was 8 years old and it was unlike anything I’d ever heard before; its mournful sound was very intriguing to me.”
What is it about performing for a live audience that you enjoy?
“I enjoy expressing emotions through music and being able to convey those emotions to an audience. Whether it’s conveying joy or sorrow, love or heartbreak, rage or peace, being able to take the notes on the page and turn them into something that can move an audience is the most fulfilling aspect of being a musician.”
If you could play any other instrument, what would you play?
“The cello! I think it has the most beautiful sound of any instrument. I love its versatility, being able to fit into almost any genre of music.”
When you aren’t playing music, what are your hobbies?
“I love to read, paint, try new restaurants, take walks around a city or park, and play video games (I’m a huge Nintendo fan).”
What is the most bizarre performing experience you have ever had?
“Well, it’s not so much a bizarre performing experience, but more of an interesting one. I had the opportunity to play for Tyler Perry’s Studio opening ceremony in Atlanta, and I didn’t realize the performance was going to be in front of a bunch of Hollywood celebrities, such as: Oprah, Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith, Patti LaBelle, Malik Yoba and a dozen others. It was hard to concentrate on my playing because I was star-struck the entire evening.”
What is your favorite musical genre?
“To be honest, I don’t have a favorite music genre I like to listen to. I actually listen to any and everything. I feel that to be a good musician, you should be open and receptive to other genres of music.”
What did you want to be when you grew up?
“I truly wanted to be a Civil Engineer to design rollercoasters and Concert Violist.”
What accomplishment in your life are you most proud of?
“I’m so blessed to have found my true soul-mate in my Partner of 15 years. I’m excited to marry him next Fall of 2018!”
What is on your latest playlist?
“Right now I’m listening to the upcoming March concert music for Columbus Symphony, Adele and Shostakovich’s Quartet no. 4.”
What musician or group of musicians inspires you the most?
“The Diaz family (Manuel, Betty Anne, Roberto, Andres, and Gabriela), Daniel and Pam Holloway, Emerson String Quartet, Maggini String Quartet and Jasper String Quartet.”
Are you excited for the upcoming performance of Strauss: Death & Transfiguration, and why?
“Yes, I’m excited to play the entire concert! This will be my first time playing Strauss’ Death and Transfiguration and Elgar’s In the South. I’m so pumped to play the big viola solos in Elgar’s In the South. It’s going to be a wonderful concert!”
Which three people (famous or otherwise) would you most like to invite to a dinner party, and why?
“They are: William Primrose, Dalai Lama and J.K. Rowling. I would love to ask them the question, who or what inspired you to be the great people you are known to be now, and why?”
Do you have a nickname? How did you get it?
“The only 2 real nicknames I’ve received were from my family. My Mother would shorten my actual name to Rod and my Aunt would sickeningly call me Roddy to get my attention.”
If you could attend any live performance (musical or otherwise) what would it be and why?
“I have two I would actually love to see, Sweeney Todd starring Pattie Lupone and Cabaret with Alan Cumming as the MC. Those two musicals and actors are my all time favorites!”