Music has always been an important part of my life. I remember my mother used to play classical music while I slept as a baby. It did not take very long for the love of music to subconsciously seep in. When I was six years old I began learning music theory before I fully knew the alphabet. I learned how to read and write at the same time I learned how to read and write music.
When I was 11 years old, my elementary school went on a field trip to see the Stockton Symphony perform. This was my first experience with orchestral music and I fell in love with it from the very first notes of Prokofiev’s The Love for Three Oranges. I had never heard the colours of strings, winds, and brass mixed together with such harmonious beauty. At that very moment, I knew I wanted to be a string player in a symphony orchestra.
I auditioned for a performing arts school in Sacramento that was a 40-minute drive away, and with the support of my parents and my previous knowledge of music, I got in. My mother would drive me to school 40 minutes up and 40 minutes back home every single day for the next seven years. Due to her sacrifice and support, I was able to learn a string instrument and play in the school orchestra. I have always loved the beautiful timbre of lower instruments, so bass was an easy choice for me. The grandeur of its stature and sound left me in awe. I used a ‘beginning strings’ book and taught myself how to play the double bass while at the same time playing in the school orchestra. A couple years later I would join my first symphony orchestra called the Sacramento Youth Symphony.
Throughout my time in middle school I experimented with other instruments and styles of music. I played the oboe, the clarinet, the drum set, electric bass, electric guitar, and a couple other instruments in my middle and high school years. My love of the Beatles inspired my interest in sound engineering and producing. I would multitrack and produce my own Beatles covers. Around the same time, I was getting serious about double bass. In my sophomore year of high school I started taking private lessons with Thomas Derthick, principal bass of Sacramento Symphony. Not long after I started taking lessons, I went on tour to the United Kingdom with my youth symphony, thus inspiring my interest to study and work in England.
Guildhall School of Music and Drama
University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music
Stockton, California, USA
What is your favourite piece of music and why do you love it?
My favourite piece of music of all time is A Day in the Life by the Beatles. Everything about the music is just incredible. George Martin did an amazing job with the production and arrangement in the track. The orchestra is beautifully integrated throughout the song with the mesmerising chaos and disorganization that juxtaposes Lennon’s soft and melancholic vocals in the opening of the song.
What do you do with your time when you’re not playing music?
I played sports as a kid and I have always loved physical activity. I like to keep physical activity in my life by weight lifting and bodybuilding. I hope to compete in bodybuilding shows in 2020. I view bodybuilding as the perfect mix of science and art. The science and complexities of nutrition mixed with the dance like movements of posing in a competition.