This week, we will feature one of the newest additions to the KV team, Travis Chapman.
Travis is a freelance violinist based in Portland, OR who began playing the violin at the age of eight in the Portland public school string program. Recently, he has completed his Bachelor’s degree in music performance from Portland State University and has been completely engrossed in the Northwest music culture. Travis has a private studio where he teaches students, in addition to performing with various ensembles and orchestras in the area including the Vancouver Symphony, Portland Columbia Symphony, Classical Revolution, The Degenerate Art Ensemble, and the Contemporary Portland Orchestra Project.
Recently, Travis took some time to answer a few questions about his life and his time with Kennedy Violins.
2. What is your favorite thing about working at Kennedy Violins and why?
I love the overall mission of the shop and the atmosphere that it creates. Everyone that works here is extremely positive and motivated to providing the best possible instruments to those that have the desire to learn them. Another benefit is that we all have so much fun doing it!
3. What is your favorite instrument/product that Kennedy Violins carries and why?
The Frank Lee violins are my personal favorite. The overall sound is so warm and smooth, that it feels like you’re sitting in a hot tub while you play it. I also love the Portland shoulder rest that we carry, which I began using after I started working here!
4. What is your favorite band/musician/composer?
I love so many composers, but I am a bigger fan of music with impressionistic and/or minimalistic qualities. Some composers include Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, Philip Glass, and Max Richter. I love listening to music that paints a picture in my head, but not in a completely structured way. I think that when the music is more free, it allows your imagination to be as well.
5. If you didn’t play the violin, which instrument would you play?
I actually do love being a violinist, but if I had to learn to play another instrument, I would pick the banjo. I know, it seems kind of strange, but it’s always been a fantasy of mine! I remember seeing Bela Fleck a couple of years ago at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, and ever since I have always had a desire to learn.
6. Which musician (alive or dead) do you wish you could play with?
Oh my gosh there are so many! The first that comes to mind is Elvis Presley.
7. What are you looking forward to most in the upcoming year?
I’m looking forward to the shop’s showroom growing, improving, and becoming a place that people come to enjoy (click here to see our new showroom). I’m also excited for all of the recitals that are scheduled to take place here. Personally speaking, I’m looking forward to doing some traveling and to continue my musical education, meet new musicians, and make some music!
8. What is something interesting that we don’t already know about you?
I love to perform comedy in my spare time! Shhhhh, it’s a secret.
9. What is your favorite thing to do when you aren’t working at Kennedy Violins?
Whenever I’m not at Kennedy’s, I’m usually practicing or performing somewhere. If that’s not happening, you’ll find me cooking in the kitchen, reading, or coming up with some new skits. I also love going out and seeing live artistic performances, whether they are music related or not.