Back in February, we met four teenagers participating in the Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative. That’s a program that helps students pursue careers in classical music.
One of those students, Kailie Holliday, began playing the cello at age 7, She says that as a child, it was the size of the instrument that drew her in.
“I love how it’s like another person right next to you, and so I can hug it if I want. It moves with me, and I really like that,” said Holliday.
Though she has been studying the cello for about a decade, she says her musical tastes are broad and she enjoys mixing genres. “I love hip hop, jazz, R&B. There was a phase when I was like 8 where I only listened to stuff from the ‘30s,” said Holliday. “I just love that you can put your emotion into all of those, as opposed to – no shade, but electric music, where it’s a device rather than a person you can see and feel what they’re feeling and all that.”
Holliday says she loves not just the sound of classical compositions, but the stories behind them. Of her selection “The Courante” from Bach’s cello suite, she says, “I love the vibe I get from the piece. It’s very full of energy.”
Since we met with her, Holliday is now in her first semester as a cello performance major at Northwestern University.