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Kellie plays recital

KIMBERLY NICOLETTI
summit daily news

If all goes well Sunday, Dax Kellie’s piano performance will double as his audition for a demanding Australian university.

Kellie, a senior at Summit High School, is planning to attend University of New South Wales and minor in music. However, the college requires much more than American schools usually do, in terms of the range of pieces a student must play. So Sunday, Kellie will perform – and create a DVD of – works from Bach, Haydn, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Mendelssohn and Khachaturian. Then he’ll throw in some ragtime, simply because he loves the genre.

“They’re very ambitious pieces, especially the romantic period,” said his piano teacher, Adrienne Sielaff. “He’s really established quite a reputation, and he’s been such an inspiration to my students.”

He began studying piano with Sielaff at age 5 and since then has won state championships in the last couple of years for his original compositions, as well as earned the local Alpenglow and Ritchey scholarships.

“He is one of those people who can play classical and can improvise and write compositions,” Sielaff said. “He’s always excelled at all of those; he’s extremely musical and good with details.”

Of course, like most kids who stick with any discipline throughout their formative years, Kellie did go through a period of disenchantment with piano lessons, around his middle school years. But he persevered and found new inspiration in pieces he enjoyed and wanted to learn, such as ragtime.

“I think ragtime’s fun when it’s fairly upbeat and fast, and I like the chords,” Kellie said.

Though he’s considering majoring in science in college, he’s also focusing on piano because he “definitely” wants to teach piano, and he’d also like to write music and see where that takes him, as well as perform, be it in concert halls or restaurants, he said.


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