NJ Teen Plays Her Cello Version of Ukraine Anthem on Beach
While many in New Jersey are taking matters into their own hands to help the people of Ukraine, 13-year-old Kealia Grace Smith took her cello to the beach where she arranged the Ukraine National Anthem in four parts and performed it.
Kealia pronounced (KAY-AH-LEE) is a member of the Philadelphia Youth Artist Orchestra. She did it to encourage people to donate money to the Ukraine refugees.
She tells us in her press release:
"I’ve been very upset about everything in Ukraine, and it really pains me to see what’s happening there. Watching people evacuate, especially little kids and pets, is so difficult for me. I wanted to bring a little comfort and hope to everyone who’s impacted by the conflict in Ukraine.”
Kealia did not know the Ukraine national anthem, much less arrange it into 4 parts. Here's how she learned it:
“I actually looked at videos of people performing the Ukrainian National Anthem, most in large choirs. I arranged it into four parts for cello and recorded myself playing each part individually and then I put it all together. I performed it on the beach, 10 minutes from my house. My mom and dad used their phones to record the video. My dad also brought our recording of the audio for me to hear as I played the cello.”
So what got Kealia into the cello?
“I've had an interest in music since I was really little. One of the shows I liked was Little Einstein's, and they talked a lot about music there. I started piano lessons at age six, but I also really wanted to play in an orchestra, so I listened to different instruments, and the rich tone of the cello stood out for me. I started playing that when I was 8. I also started playing clarinet in school the year after.”
Now she travels over 1hr 15 minutes each way to study cello with Dr. Joanne Erwin from Rowan University. That's dedication and it pays off when you hear her play.