Musician Spotlights - Kevin Mills, Cello





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Musician Spotlights - Kevin Mills, Cello
By Musician Spotlights • Issue #35 • View online
Last but not least in our cello spotlights, having joined us for his first season with RVS as our new Assistant Principal Cello, Kevin!

Question 1: Could you tell me a little bit about yourself?
I am a southern California native and after getting my Masters at The Juilliard School, I have been residing in Los Angeles. Although I live so far away from Rogue Valley, my parents live in Bend. So every time I come to play with the symphony, I make a detour to visit with them which is a very nice treat.  
Question 2: What brought or inspired you to pursue cello? If you’d like to share one of your favorite pieces of music as well, I’d like to know!
I was always interested in the arts at a very young age. I sang, danced, and acted in a variety of shows. No one in my family is musical, but in the 4th grade I chose to play the cello in the school program. The only reason I chose it, truthfully, was because there were hardly any other cellists and they always sat in the front for performances, which is where I wanted to sit. But I discovered almost immediately that I had a talent for the cello and I really did love to play it. I didn’t take private lessons until the summer before high school, but after that first lesson I knew that it was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
My dream piece to perform one day is Don Quixote by Richard Strauss. It gives me everything I want in one piece of music and I think it is just one of the most amazing pieces of orchestral music ever written!
Question 3: What do you enjoy most about being with the Rogue Valley Symphony?
The thing I enjoy most about playing with RVS is the sense of community. It may not be the biggest or well known orchestra out there, but every time I play with everyone else there is such a sense of love and musical spirit towards one another. It makes every concert very special.
Question 4: What do you do when you’re not playing music i.e. what are your hobbies or interests?
I’ve always thought of the cello as being both my career and my hobby. I genuinely love to practice and sit with my instrument. But I guess when I’m not doing that, I do like to be active. I love to ski whenever I’m able to, and I love to be in the kitchen cooking.
Question 5: Finally, one unusual fact, story, or tidbit about you or your instrument?  
So the instrument I play on, a Renault & Chatelain made in Paris in 1779, belonged to my first cello teacher. She retired from performing a few years ago and wanted it to continue to be used so in an incredible act of generosity, she gifted it to me. But the funny thing is, she was a member of the Honolulu Symphony for a number of years, and she found this instrument being kept in someone’s attic! I have no idea how this cello made its way from France all the way to the Hawaiian Islands, but it’s fun to think about anyways.
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