Jonah Kassel of Chilliwack placed third in the Optimist International Musical Happiness Competition. (Melanie Tocher/

Jonah Kassel of Chilliwack placed third in the Optimist International Musical Happiness Competition. (Melanie Tocher/

VIDEO: Young Chilliwack musician recognized on international level

Jonah Kassel of Chilliwack placed third in Optimist International Musical Happiness Competition

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.

READ MORE: Scholarship money up for grabs in Optimist International’s musical happiness competition for youth

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.


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on?
Twitter: @PhotoJennalism

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Two ejected from single vehicle crash in Seabird Island

Landing zone for medevac has been requested

(File photo)
Semi truck and car collide on Highway 1 near Popkum

Slow lane eastbound is now closed as crews wait for tow trucks

Treeplanters from Shakti Reforestation are adding to the forests of Mount Thom Park. (City of Chilliwack)
Treeplanting project in Mount Thom Park will keep Chilliwack forest resilient

So far they’ve planted 2,000 of 80,000 trees planned for popular park on Promontory

Fire damage is seen in the windows of an apartment on Yale Road on April 21, 2021 following a fire there the night before. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack Fire Dept. reminds people again to have working smoke alarms following 2nd blaze in 2 days

All six halls responded to bedroom fire in apartment on Yale Road above restaurant in Chilliwack

Bert Brink Wildlife Management Area was the site of illegally dumped drywall reported on April 19, 2021. (Michael Hill photo)
Another cache of dumped drywall in Chilliwack prompts suggestion to block access

Pile of drywall likely asbestos containing discarded in wildlife management area

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

Thousands have converged in Whonnock Lake Park to enjoy the nice weather. (Roxanne Hooper/The News)
Thousands enjoy B.C. park with warnings about social distancing

Portable toilets installed in anticipation of nice weather

FILE – The Instagram app is shown on an iPhone in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Judge acquits B.C. teen boy ‘set up’ on sex assault charge based on Instagram messages

The girl and her friends did not have ‘good intentions’ towards the accused, judge says

Kai Palkeinen recently helped a car stuck on the riverbed near the Big Eddy Bridge. While the car could not be saved, some of the driver’s belongings were. It’s common for vehicles to get stuck in the area due to significantly changing river levels from Revelstoke Dam. (Photo by Kai Palkeinen)
“I just sank a car’: Revelstoke resident tries to save vehicle from the Columbia River

Although it’s not permitted, the riverbed near the city is popular for off roading

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Playland at the PNE is set to reopen this May, with COVID-19 health and safety measures approved by the province. (Website/Playland)
VIDEO: Playland at PNE scheduled to reopen this May to masked customers

British Columbians are discouraged from travelling outside of their local health authority to visit the theme park

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, walks down the street with an acquaintance after leaving B.C. Supreme Court during a lunch break at her extradition hearing, in Vancouver, B.C., Thursday, April 1, 2021. A judge is scheduled to release her decision today on a request to delay the final leg of hearings in Meng Wanzhou’s extradition case. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rich Lam
B.C. judge grants Meng Wanzhou’s request to delay extradition hearings

Lawyers for Canada’s attorney general had argued there is no justification to delay proceedings in the case

B.C. Premier John Horgan announces travel restrictions between the province’s regional health authorities at the legislature, April 19, 2021. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sees 862 more COVID-19 cases Wednesday, seven deaths

Recreational travel restrictions set to begin Friday

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson is photographed following her budget speech in the legislative assembly at the provincial legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. budget lacks innovative drive, vision during uncertain times, say experts

Finance Minister Selina Robinson’s budget sets out to spend $8.7 billion over three years on infrastructure

Most Read