One of my most rewarding things to do through photography and music is to meet new people. Sometimes those people are 18 and some are 81. Each and every person has something interesting about themselves even if they think it's just a quirk. Musicians are great to photograph too! Sometimes we make faces that become part of the music. I personally watch musicians' expressions just as much as I listen to them! It is one of the joys of experiencing live music! Each Monday I'd like to feature a musician that I've had the chance to photograph.
Today's feature is Devin Moore. I became aware of Devin when he was in 3rd grade. At our school the String room is captive to the band room. So as the lessons change, string and band students come into our front door and some continue to the back towards the string room and some set up for band. The orchestra teacher and band teachers have learned to almost ignore each other during lessons. But occasionally we share our students' successes with each other. On one of those days Mrs. Kandrack came out with Devin and said listen to this. He was playing something that his grandmother would sing ant home. I wasn't quite sure I could identify it, but I kind remember it being Amazing Grace, but different. Devin was just playing by what he remembered. As the year progressed it was obvious that he had something special AND he was ready to work to make it happen! The proverbial "Diamond in the Rough!"
"My main focus is classical music, but I have a love of so many genres of music (70s, 80s, 90s, theater, r&b, hip hop, etc.)" - Devin
What first got you into music?
"My grandfather. He used to play classical music all the time when I was around. In his car, his apartment, everywhere. I was listening to Beethoven symphonies from the age of 2 or 3. When I decided to play violin (mostly due to my grandfather exposing me at an early age), my mother was extremely supportive. She always let me participate in whatever I wanted, as long as I committed to it."
What is your creative process like?
"Honestly, it changes all the time. I try to stay open to different ways of practicing and performing depending on how I feel. A lot of it is a mental game and figuring out what works everyday. I've gotten the chance to collaborate with some professional string quartets. Definitely changed my life and the way I think about playing and chamber music performance. I'd love to play the Brahms Op. 111 Viola Quintet with the Dover String Quartet or Danish String Quartet one day."
If you could go open a show for any artist who would it be?
"Probably a Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center concert with David Finckel and Wu Han."
Do you sing in the shower? What songs?
"Everyday. I even have a Spotify Playlist for it. Its a lot of Whitney, Prince, and Michael."
"It's important to take the time to appreciate the small things in life."
What would you be doing right now, if it wasn’t for your music career?
"I probably would be in medical school training to be a neurosurgeon. I've always had a fascination with science, specifically medicine."
Where have you performed? What are your favorite venues?
"I've been very fortunate to perform all around the US and Europe. My favorite hall I've played in is probably the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Nearly perfect acoustics on stage and in the audience. In terms of singing, performing on Broadway at the Minskoff Theatre was an amazing experience. "
What is your favorite song to perform?
"Anything by Brahms."
"What is the best advice you’ve been given? (When dealing with rejection) If the train doesn't stop at your station, it wasn't your train."
Which famous musicians do you admire?
"My teacher Sam Rhodes. He's done everything I want to do (professional string quartet, travel around the world, teach at Juilliard)."
If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?
"I wish classical music was more accessible to underprivileged/underrepresented communities."
What’s next for you?
"I'm excited to finish my senior year at Juilliard and start applying for grad school programs. I'm hoping to start an organization that focuses on the widespread distribution of performances by composers of color to continue to diversify the classical music industry."
"Though I think nothing will ever replace in person performance, I am a huge fan of experimenting with online music-making and try to find ways to innovate and utilize the platforms available."
Want to be the next musician on "Music Monday?"
One of my passions is to capture each and every person's true personality that I photograph. If you'd love a session that is fun AND produces some excellent photos of you, set up a consultation session right now and let's make it happen!