On Saturday cellist Francisco Vila of Los Angeles will perform with the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra in Sioux Falls. But Tuesday he was performing for and interacting with kids with Harmony South Dakota. With this program, kids learn how to play music, and they perform it, too. Executive Director Dan Goeller explains that the organization utilizes music to instill life skills.
“It’s kind of like listening to a whole group play, but it’s sounding as one person playing,” 10-year-old violinist Chhitij Subba of Sioux Falls said when asked about cellist Francisco Vila’s playing.
Chhitij plays with Harmony South Dakota. Vila performed for him and other kids on Tuesday. He listened as they sang, and the cellist took questions, too.
“What you saw is what happens when you have 30, 40 curious minds who are already, they’ve developed some kind of idea of music,” Vila said.
“It’s a great opportunity for our kids to see a little bit into the future of what it looks like to learn the discipline of making music together in an ensemble,” Harmony South Dakota Executive Director Dan Goeller said.
For Chhitij, Vila’s playing brings a unique scene to mind.
“It makes me think about flowers blooming in the spring,” Chhitij said.
These young musical minds can bloom, too.
“I’m always humbled because they ask the most honest questions. And they’re very curious,” Vila said.
“To see someone performing I think at that level, and the beautiful music of Bach, I think is something, they’ve played Bach, so to hear it at that level and hear pieces that seem like they’re far removed but they don’t realize, like they could be playing that in just several years if they work really hard,” Goeller said.
“They’re given a point of reference, and it’s something that stays in their memory,” Vila said.
Vila’s playing inspires Chhitij.
“Just by how he plays the sound, it’s loud, and it’s very, very beautiful,” Chhitij said.
KELOLAND News did an Eye on KELOLAND last May on Harmony South Dakota.