A young Chilliwack musician has been recognized on an international level for bringing happiness to people via music.
Jonah Kassel, 13, placed third in the musical category of the Optimist International Musical Happiness Competition last week for his violin piece Die Biene by Franz Schubert.
He won a $100 USD scholarship as a result.
The first ever Optimist International Musical Happiness Competition was open to kids aged 11 to 18, and they could can enter in either the vocal or musical category.
The topic for the musical and vocal competition was ‘Choose Happiness’ and the winners were announced on March 20, which is International Day of Happiness.
Jonah is in Grade 7 at Vedder middle school and has been playing the violin for eight years, taking lessons from Karin Fehlauer at the Chilliwack Academy of Music.
“He is quite active in music in Chilliwack including participating in the Lions Music Festival every year, playing at weddings and other events, and busking at various locations around Chilliwack with his sister,” said mom Melanie Kassel.
When he was 11, Jonah performed as a soloist with the Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra after being selected as one of the winners of the Rising Stars concerto competition, and he will be representing Chilliwack in the BC Provincial Music Festival in June for the fourth year in a row. Additionally, he and his sister both play with the Chilliwack Youth Orchestra.
Jonah is planning on putting his cash prize from the Optimist International Musical Happiness Competition into the bank (where his busking money goes) to put toward the eventual purchase of his “forever violin,” his mother said.