Dante Letzelter, viola
Northeast Kingdom Learning Services
VT Youth Orchestra – 3 years
VT Youth Philharmonia – 2 years
How did you choose your instrument over all of the others?
I actually started many years ago on violin. But we had a viola in my home that no one was using. Not being one to neglect instruments, I decided to play that instead. I immediately fell in love with mid range of the viola.
What do you enjoy most about playing in an orchestra?
I love hearing all the parts come together to make one voice, and the best thing is when you hear a part you haven’t heard before. It can be hard to hear what everyone is playing, especially when you sit in front of the trumpets.
What has been your biggest musical breakthrough?
Learning how to learn music by hearing it.
What advice would you give to younger music students as they strive to build their skills?
Play along with recordings of what you’re playing helps a ton. If you’re having a lot of trouble with a certain part of a piece, take a break from practicing it and play something else. Come back to it in a day or two.
What kinds of changes would you like to see in the orchestral world?
I think school music programs can always use more! Especially out where I live, school music programs could use support. It would also be quite something to hear an orchestra perform a disco piece.
What is your favorite VYOA memory?
At the first Reveille [the season kick-off rehearsals for VYO and VYP] I attended, a brass band comprised of the VYO brass and percussion sections paraded out of the men’s bathroom and around Elley-Long.
Apart from orchestral music, what other kinds of music do you listen to? Do other genres influence what you hear in orchestral music?
I listen to all different kinds of music, anything from Klezmer to Hip-Hop, I’ll give it a listen. I am always hearing parts of pieces and songs in other pieces and songs.
What other activities do you participate in?
I sing in a small singing group nearby my home, and I play Trombone in two local brass bands. I also work in the woods tapping trees for sugaring season.
If you know, what do you plan to study in college?
Education, a trade, and music/art are the top contenders right now, but that could change.