This week, our blog spotlight is on cellist Dequan Smith, from Savannah, Grand Caymen! Each year, the Caymen Arts Festival sponsors a student from the Islands to attend Luzerne Music Center’s summer program. Dequan was the 2017 recipient, attending our Junior Session. Hear what he has to say about music and his time at Luzerne!
Tell us a little about yourself!
My name is Dequan Smith McConvey and I am a multi-instrumentalist, playing: euphonium, trumpet, recorder, piano, irish tin whistle and cello.
I am from the idyllic island of Grand Cayman in the trio of islands better known as the Cayman Islands.
Do you have a favorite classical composer? What about a favorite non-classical group/song/genre?
Bruch is my favourite composer, however my favourite piece of music is the Nocturne in C Sharp minor by Chopin. My favourite genre of music is Romantic music.
What is an area of music/playing the cello that you have not explored yet that interests you?
I am rather excited to try solo concerto. I do play in orchestras and have accompanied concerti, but I would love a chance to give new meaning and flavour to a concerto that is well known.
Tell us about your time at camp last summer. What did you think of…
Living in the Adirondack Mountains?
It was great to be in such a rural setting and to be able to breathe in the mountain air. Luzerne was free from the sounds and smells of traffic and the outside world, which enabled us to be solely focused on our music.
Working with other young musicians?
There were many amazing musicians in the orchestra and as a result the weaker players improved by just being in the same section.
Learning from the faculty?
We were exposed to different methods of teaching and the healthy exposure resulted in my improving. All of our teachers were very accomplished musicians. The faculty concerts were truly excellent. They really had the audience captivated. They also performed very difficult pieces and conveyed the message the composer wanted heard. It was almost like we could hear the words coming out of their instruments. It was truly wonderful.
Any closing thoughts?
I would love to go back to Luzerne, it was truly amazing to be around other fantastic musicians, who brought out the best in me.
I now have a stronger drive to be better on the cello. I now cannot go a day without practicing as much as possible! I was really pushed to be my best!