Steamboat Springs Cedar Turek felt comfortable and at home as he played his violin for a crowd of hundreds of people in New York City’s Merkin Hall.
At home in Steamboat Springs, 10-year-old Cedar has played several times at the Strings Music Pavilion, and he feels at most a few butterflies in his stomach.
“Playing violin is relaxing,” Cedar said, sitting in a corridor at Lowell Whiteman Primary School on Tuesday afternoon. “It helps get your jumpies out. It can help you a lot; it can make you feel happier.”
Cedar earned honorable mention in the 2012 American Protege International Piano and Strings Competition, allowing the local fifth-grader to perform at the contest’s annual recital.
Following in the footsteps of local violinist Jacob Vanderwerf — Cedar’s friend who earned the same award last year — Cedar traveled to New York City last weekend with his mother, Melanie.
“I think I did pretty well,” Cedar said Tuesday.
While in New York, he went to the Lego store, saw the “Spider-Man” musical on Broadway and went to an NHL hockey game, in addition to visiting his grandmother.
He said he practiced his piece — Bach’s Concerto in G minor, first movement — for more than five months before the performance.
He practices 45 minutes every day (holidays and weekend included) and takes lessons from local violinist Mary Anne Fairlie.
Cedar also is learning to play the piano and viola and wants to try a few other instruments, as well.
Melanie Turek said that music education is an important aspect of her son’s development and that he’s continuing to expand his musical horizons.
“I think he’ll explore it more and more,” Turek said about her son’s interest in different instruments and genres. “He might not grow up to be a classical musician, but it’s a nice thing to have in your life, to be able to hear music and understand it.”
He also understands some larger concepts, grasping an ownership of work ethic and self-motivation.
“Some days, I don’t want to practice, but I think I should because it will help me later in life,” he said. “Working hard pays off.”