On Saturday, March 17, Fairmont Historic Anaheim 6th grader Jason D. had the opportunity to share his piano skills with the audience at Carnegie Hall.
The opportunity to perform at such a renowned venue came as a result of his first-place finish in the American Protégé International Music Talent Competition last fall. This was Jason’s second time to perform at Carnegie Hall after taking the same stage two years ago. This year, he performed Franz Liszt’s La Campanella, meaning “little bells.” He knows that his dedication and commitment to practice have helped lead him to such a possibility and was honored to be able to return to New York for the performance.
“I [had] a sense of achievement, happiness, and pride,” Jason said. “I mean, going to Carnegie Hall isn’t what everyone gets to do.”
Jason began playing the piano when he was only 4 years old, and ever since, he has enjoyed the melodious sound he is able to produce each time his fingers touch the keys. He practices daily for at least an hour and a half, performs every few months, and takes part in two to three competitions per year. He has won a number of awards, including first place at the American Association for Development of the Gifted and Talented International Young Gifted Musicians Festival “Passion of Music 2016” (which notched him the chance to play at Carnegie Hall for the first time) and the 2017 Music Teacher Association of California — Los Angeles Branch Romantic Festival.
In addition to playing the piano, Jason also enjoys math and Java (a computer-programming language), and he was thankful that his trip to New York allowed him to have some additional fun outside of the pressures of his performance — that included a visit to the Nintendo store near Times Square, where he was able to play the demonstration games.
And, even though he knows the importance of focusing on his abilities to perform well for a large crowd, he still appreciates the extra perks of being a Carnegie Hall musician that bring warmth to his heart.
“[I really loved] being able to eat free candy in the performance section and being able to look [out and see] my mom in the balcony,” he said.