Our Spotlight Interview Series features Dmitry Hackel this week. These stories are made possible by your generous gifts. Every gift goes further on May 6!
This week, we met with Dmitry Hackel, a 12-year-old student that received the Financial Aid this spring. He is a member of CharAMGO (Charleston Academy of Music Guitar Orchestra), led by his teacher, Ulyana Machneva. He has been enjoying his lessons with Ulyana, made possible thanks to generous gifts made on last year’s Giving Day.
When did you start playing the guitar?
I started playing when I was 6 years old. I did take a break from it by learning the piano, but got bored and came back to the guitar.
What made you interested in the guitar?
A few years ago, I saw pictures of my grandpa playing the guitar. He really was an amazing guitarist. I wanted to be just like him, so I played the guitar at my school. We learned rock music, but I wasn’t a huge fan. At the Academy, the focus is more on classical guitar and I enjoy it very much. My mother also used to play the guitar. She even gave me some tips and tricks on the guitar. But now, I think I might be playing better than her! She is very supportive of my music education.
What other subjects do you enjoy?
I love musical theater. I love to sing and dance, and would like to become an actor one day. When I started theater at school, I realized that people did not just act – they played instruments as well. I am working on improving my skills so that I won’t get so nervous performing on stage.
Do you have any artists that inspire you and you look up to?
I love watching the conductor, Alexandre Desplat, who composed and conducted the two most recent Harry Potter movies. He conducted many other movie soundtracks. Every time I watch him, I feel like he captures the different moods so well. It is very moving to watch and listen to his performances.
What are some pieces you recently performed?
For the audition when I applied for this scholarship, I performed Small Prelude by A. Iyanov-Kramskoy. It has an emotional story line, like going through a phase of sadness. I usually like to think before and after the piece, to plan out how to best express and capture the mood. I try to imagine how sad I would be if anything happened to my family, especially my mom.
What role does music play in your life?
When I play music, it takes me away to a place where I feel free. Especially on the days when the going gets tough, it helps me get through the day and calm myself down. It also makes me feel stronger from within.
We also met with his teacher, Ulyana, who believed that Dmitry has “big musical potential.” She believes he can really benefit from the programs offered at CAM. According to Ulyana, Dmitry is a “hard-working and attentive student, who understands different concepts quickly.” She believes that music is a great way for children to express themselves, especially for the creative personalities. For Ulyana, one of the joys in teaching comes from learning new things from her own students. For instance, Dmitry would share with her about his experience in combining theater and music, in order to develop musical ideas, which has proven to be very useful! Ulyana has been teaching at CAM since 2011.
Thank you for sharing this story with us, Dmitry and Ulyana! We wish Dmitry all the best with his future endeavors.