|GRADE 5 ROYAL VALE STUDENT TRIUMPHS AT CARNEGIE HALL|
MONTREAL, FEBRUARY 12, 2016 – Devon Packer, a Grade 5 student at Royal Vale School in NDG, won first prize at the Winner’s Recital of the International Crescendo Competition at New York City’s Carnegie Hall recently.
Devon's mother, Paulana Layman, said her son started to play the piano at the age of four. He studies piano and composition at the McGill Conservatory of Music. His goal is to become a composer/conductor/pianist. Devon has been winning music competitions since the age of six, and has performed both solo and with orchestra, at Oscar Peterson Hall and the Place des Arts. He had his first composition published last year at the Canadian Music Centre called "The Fantastical World of Camelot."
Says Devon: “I feel classical music has more emotion than the music of today. My biggest musical inspiration is Leonard Bernstein because I want to be just like him when I grow up.”
Devon’s father David has a degree in music and his maternal grandmother was a concert pianist. “He has more musical ability in his 10 year old body than most musicians I have seen or worked with,” says his dad.
“This child is amazingly talented; a genius in music,” says Principal Nathalie Lacroix-Maillette. "You have to hear him play piano and the trombone with the band. We tell our kids to follow their dreams and I think Devon is a great example of that.”
Mom Paulana said that at Devon’s fourth birthday she asked what he would like on his cake, giving the options of Sponge Bob, Spiderman and others. “He chose Beethoven,” she laughed.
Over the last several weeks, Devon’s adventure has been covered by CTV Montreal, Canada AM, Global News, Breakfast Television, Rendezvous Magazine and CBC Daybreak.
Michael J. Cohen