Viola player Kerrick Sasaki played at the Hollywood Bowl for the first time this year while participating in the Henry Mancini Institute's summer educational program.
Hollywood Bowl concert
thrills isle viola player
By Rosemarie Bernardo
It was his second time in the program.
"We played for 15,000 people. It was amazing," he said.
Sasaki was among 84 talented college and post-graduate musicians who were selected through a worldwide audition to receive a full fellowship in the Henry Mancini Institute.
He spent four weeks at the University of California-Los Angeles School of Music where tuition, room and board were provided. At a concert held at the Hollywood Bowl, Sasaki and other musicians performed background music for Grammy-award winner Diana Krall, a vocalist and pianist.
"It was a wonderful experience," he said.
Sasaki is a 1995 graduate of Kamehameha Schools and attended the University of Washington. He obtained a bachelor's degree in music and was accepted in the master's program at the Peabody and San Francisco Conservatories. Because of financial constraints, Sasaki decided not to register in the master's program but plans to return to school in the near future.
Currently, he works for the Seattle Theatre Group. In January, Sasaki plans to teach viola in several public schools and at Bellevue Community College.
His time spent in Los Angeles last summer restored Sasaki's purpose in music.
"It gave me confidence in my skill and in performing," he said. "I just gained so much confidence there and so much support."
Trained as a classical musician, Sasaki had been introduced to jazz at the summer program and continues to learn more.
Sasaki thanked his music instructors, Sandra Wong, Helen Callus and Carole Mukogawa for helping him persevere in music.
In the future, Sasaki hopes to work for the Henry Mancini Institute to help others further their music skills.
"It made such a difference for me," he said.