Dylan Perez: Tulsa Youth Symphony Cellist
Music has no age, nor does it have boundaries. Sixth-grader Dylan Perez’s passion for music began at a very young age when his parents played music for him to soothe him. A cellist with the Tulsa Youth Symphony Orchestra, Dylan Perez started playing the cello and piano at a very early age and has had the opportunity to play the cello across the nation.
Dylan: Cello and piano.
TK: What made you chose these instruments?
Dylan: I was born with a love for music. My parents would play a lot of music for me and my brother when we were babies and toddlers, and I started really becoming interested in the cello and piano. I would do the bowing motion with my arms, and I always wanted to watch this one group called “The Piano Guys.” They were and are still really amazing.
TK: How long have you been playing these instruments?
Dylan: Cello, 8 years. Piano, 5 years.
TK: How long have you been with the Tulsa Youth Symphony Orchestra?
Dylan: This is my second season with them as a cellist.
TK: What other accomplishments have you received/done?
Dylan: I joined the Tulsa Honors Orchestra here in Tulsa when I was 5 years old as a cellist. I played with them for two seasons, then we moved to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Once we got settled there, I joined the Savannah Youth Orchestra as a cellist and played with them for three seasons. Then we moved back to Tulsa a little over a year ago and I was fortunate enough to be able to audition just in time for the Tulsa Youth Orchestra. While in Hilton Head, I was honored to be invited to play at several community events and art festivals, as well as the Boys and Girls Club Black Tie Gala. Once we were back in Tulsa, the Boys and Girls Club invited me to play again, remotely, for their annual fundraiser again – I did so virtually, and it was a lot of fun. And it was a great privilege to be featured in the Hilton Head Island Arts Council’s magazine.
TK: You are so young, yet you have played at galas and arts festivals and were in a video advertising the cultural aspects of Hilton Head. How does it feel to be featured in commercials, galas and magazines?
Dylan: It feels great, and it’s a huge honor. I’m passionate about sharing my gift with others, and it’s a blessing to be able to take part in these types of events, especially with the Boys and Girls Club of America – they are such an important organization and affect the lives of so many. I attended the Boys and Girls Club on Hilton Head and learned so much while I was a part of their program there. Also, I’m so honored to attend several music-training events a year in Nashville at the Annie Moses Conservatory of Music.
TK: Who inspires you?
Dylan: First and foremost, God is my biggest inspiration. He has given me this passion, and I always want to honor Him with my playing. Second, my family. They support and love me every step of the way and have made it possible for me to grow in my music. This includes both of my grandfathers, who are artists as well. My late grandfather Vinnie was an accomplished painter, and my grandfather Len is a singer, songwriter and author. Other music artists that inspire me include Yo-Yo Ma, Zuill Baily, 2Cellos, and my favorite composers are Bach, Liszt, Chopin and Beethoven. My teachers are also a huge inspiration to me. I’ve been so privileged to have such amazing instructors over the years. My current cello instructor is Diane Bucchianeri at TU. Dr. Allyson Eskitch at The bART Center for Music is my piano instructor. Also, Mr. David Broome, at The bART, for theory and composition. Finally, Professor Richard Wagner is my conductor for the Tulsa Youth Symphony, and he is awesome!
TK: What advice do you have for other children who want to follow your path?
Dylan: If you desire something, go for it with all your heart. Don’t let anything hold you back, especially self-doubt or feeling afraid – be brave and take the next step no matter how you feel. And…never stop practicing.
TK: What do you want to do when you’re older?
Dylan: To continue developing my gifts to bless others and attend The Juilliard School or the Manhattan School of Music. Also, to play at Carnegie Hall.
TK: What other hobbies do you have?
Dylan: I absolutely love basketball – my favorite team is the Dallas Mavericks. Also, I enjoy composing and creating original songs.
TK: What is a fun fact about you?
Dylan: I love learning foreign languages, especially Spanish, French and Italian. And I am learning to play guitar.