Sunday, January 29, 2023 – 3pm
No, I wasn’t at the Sydney Opera House, it was much closer to home where I spent last Sunday at an event which was headlined as “Two Boys! Two Pianos! And a show that will knock your socks off!” It was my first visit to the Havre de Grace Opera House in the arts and entertainment district of a town in Harford County, Maryland.
Ronnie Carrasquillo and Kain Felix’s concert began on a few recognizable arrangements – Pachelbel’s Canon in D and The Prayer. Along with that, the pair put on their very best professional airs these two middle school boys could have. The varied mix of music – duets, classical and then contemporary allowed a them to drop their professional facade just a little bit toward the end and just have a little fun, like youth do. Concert piano may not be every 11 and 12 year old’s idea of having a great afternoon but these two were enjoying themselves, despite Ronnie’s admission of how nervous he was, which seemed to disappear once he began playing. From where I was sitting I could see a little into the wings. After each one’s individual performance, I could see the boys giving each other the thumbs up and high fives, encouraging one another. As their teacher Miss Julie said, the two have “great synergy” between them.
Not a page of sheet music was at the baby grand. Kain played all from memorization, which was impressive given the fact that his talent has already lead him into some complex compositions. Kain who has begun studying at the Maryland Conservatory of Music has started writing some of his own music such as two tunes he played, Lost and Found and Ripples. Some of the other pieces each boy played had unique elements, some improvisation, added in.
Ronnie has been Miss Julie’s student for four years and their great rapport was evident, yet he is preparing to advance his skills at the Maryland Conservatory of Music. Their teacher Julie Shaker has been very instrumental in her mentoring and their development, and all three seem to enjoy one another too.
One wonders where their futures in music will lead them but already their young talent did knock my socks off and in the process all I could think is how challenging it sometimes is to get my own emotions down on a piece of paper, so I ponder how can two boys with so few years of living on this earth turn their thoughts into writing a rather complex composition of musical notes or take music already written, then add to it and play it with such pleasing results? Innate, God-given gifts they have been given.
I’d like to thank Kain’s mom, Claudia Felix for giving me the the opportunity to see these two middle school boys first public appearance and display their hard work and young, admirable talent.
Kain’s Mom Claudia showing her support and congratulations at intermission. The two boys parents have much to be proud of.