Student artist in the spotlight: John Pasillas

Posted: Friday, June 02, 2006

Grade: 12

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School: Juneau-Douglas High School

Art of choice: Plays piano and string bass.

Reason: "There was a piano in my elementary school classroom and I always wanted to play it. When I was 10, I finally got to start taking piano lessons. When I got to middle school and had Ms. Bastuscheck, I told her I wanted to take up the violin. She said, 'Well, we really need a string bass, and they're pretty easy to learn.' So she guilted me into it; but I've been very thankful ever since, because I think it helps me even more with my piano than the violin ever could."

Favorites: He listens to classical music. He likes Beethoven and Mozart. His favorite composer is Antonio Vivaldi. His favorite piano composer is Sergei Rachmaninov. "His music is so intimate. You can tell it comes straight from his heart. It's so passionate."

Future plans: He'll major in music in college and focus on piano.

Other activities: He plays with the Juneau Symphony and the student symphony. He took piano master classes and private lessons this year from Alexander Tutunov.

Bragging rights: "I'm modest about my music, but I don't mind saying, I just got a 1550 on my SAT scores and found out I was awarded the Juneau Arts and Humanities Council Arts Achievement Award."

His teacher, Julia Bastuscheck, says: "I've always felt he was very special. He works really hard at his music. It's a passion for him, and he's really good. He loves music so much. It's so much a part of his life ... His smile is so warm and friendly, a glowing smile."

• Student Artist in the Spotlight is in collaboration with the Juneau School District Elementary Art Program.

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