Sophomore David Shi has made his mark as an exceptional musician early on in his KO career.
His talent on the cello has been on display since he was in middle school. Coming to KO in seventh grade, David played the cello in the Middle School orchestra, but there was a shortage of cello players in the Upper School, so he played in the Upper School orchestra as well.
Overall, this is David’s fourth year of playing cello in the orchestra. However, he started playing the cello when he was around five years old.
He said that he used to only play classical music, but as he got older, he started trying different ranges of music.
David has also been taking private cello lessons since first grade, and he even played piano for a few years, before shifting his focus to the cello. “There is a lot to like about [the cello]. It has a big range so you could play a lot,” he said. Right now, the orchestra has seven cellists and is led by music teacher Richard Chiarappa.
David has gotten to know Mr. Chiarappa well over the past years, since not only is he the conductor of the KO orchestra, but he also of the West Hartford Symphony orchestra, which David joined last year. Mr. Chiarappa has been working with David at every step of his time at KO.
As Mr. Chiarappa reflects back to David’s music when he was in middle school, he’s noticed that David has gotten so much better at his playing and reading in music.
“In Middle School, he had to work hard on working on tempo and rhythm, and those have continued to get better year after year,” he said. “That’s why once I saw that improvement, I invited him to the West Hartford Symphony.”
David was also part of the regional orchestra last month, a selective group of musicians.
“It was pretty fun, there were a lot of people, definitely a lot of people better than me, so it was good seeing how much further I could go,” he said.
Earlier this year and last year, there has been a Wyvern String Quartet, a very selective group in which only four people are chosen to perform. David has been chosen to hold the cello part, and Mr. Chiarappa said that he has played that part very well.
“He’s easy to work with, he takes advice and follows directions very well,” he said. “His personality has been great to work with along the way. I’ve enjoyed working with him, and getting to know him and his family.”
David said he plans to keep playing the cello and growing as a musician throughout his time at KO. Even though it’s not something he wants to pursue as a career, it’s something he hopes to continue for a long time.
“I want to keep [it] with me forever; I can’t imagine not having it with me,” he said.
Evidently, David has a unique passion for cello that keeps him motivated and practicing. We look forward to his future performances!