GSO Violinist Goes with the Bow
Greenville News, Arts and Travel Section | Sunday, November 17, 2002
DALLAS (NNPA) - Phenomenal, multitalented, beautiful, spirited and versatile are just a few words that describe violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins. Kelly Hall-Tompkins plays with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. The award-winning musician said she welcomes the opportunity to share her love of music with youth because that's how she got her start. At age nine, she learned that she wanted to be a musician when a professional orchestra visited her elementary school and won her heart. "I went home and told my mother that I wanted to be a violinist," she recalled. So, while her friends were listening to the latest hits, you could find young Kelly tuning in to classical music or her other "favorite music," rock and jazz. According to Hall-Tompkins, as a youngster, most of her friends were not familiar with or interested in classical music or the violin. "My friends tolerated my obsession with classical music," she said, adding that once she was in high school, she was surrounded by other students who understood and appreciated her love of the violin. "I attended a magnet high school and that made the difference." For Hall-Tompkins, classical music was just an extension of who she is. She grew up listening to Bach and other classical greats, so she developed a love for classical music and actually enjoyed the countless hours of practice. Hall-Thompkin said her mother was an inspiration to her. "My mom was my greatest mentor," she said. "She inspired me and taught me to expect and accept nothing but the best from myself. She has always been my best friend, my biggest source of inspiration." Hall-Tompkins considers herself a cultural ambassador of music and language. She has performed around the world and has mastered several languages. "I don’t like to go to a foreign country and have to ask, ‘Do you speak English?’" she explained. Speaking several languages, she says, surprises people and also helps to "break the communication gap, which can be such a barrier." Hall-Thompkins will grace the stage with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra for the 11th Annual African American and Hispanic Festival Concerts in Dallas March 7 and 8. The Cultures in Concert festival is considered one of the symphony’s most popular events and features some of the top Latino and African American classical artists. The concert will also feature Daniel Bernard Roumain’s Hip Hop Essay for Orchestra and William Dawson’s Negro Folk Symphony.