by Jennifer Hoesing
VSA Florida sponsors the Florida Young Soloists program, now in its fifth year. A statewide call for musicians and vocalists with disabilities age 25 and under is sent each spring. Three prominent music professionals adjudicate the applications and select the top two as Florida’s nominations to the VSA International Young Soloists program. The Florida finalists appear with the Florida Orchestra. Today we have five questions for Victor Merriam, one of this year’s Young Soloists.
DCA: What do you enjoy most about making music?
Victor: The thing that I enjoy the most about making music is probably the unparalleled freedom and beauty which accompanies it, where you can express yourself in beautiful ways that words never could grasp.
DCA: Why do you think it is important for people to make music?
Victor: I think it’s important for people to make music, because, like any other form of art, it’s a beautiful thing that could fade away if people just stop doing it one day.
Why are music and art important to Florida?
DCA: Do you think you will always perform music?
Victor: I believe I will always be performing music; there’s no describing the happiness it can bring to change peoples lives with what you do.
DCA: Who are your favorite musicians or artists?
Victor: Some of my favorite musicians/artists are (in no specific ranking) Valentina Lisitsa, Andre Rieu, Serge Tankian, Victor Wooten, Max Bemis, Andrea Bocelli, Salvadore Dali and Vincent van Gogh.
DCA: Why are music and art important to Florida?
Victor: Music and art are vital to parts of the economy and culture in Florida; there is an extremely large musical and artistic scene in many areas around the state, music is part of its culture since some styles of rock even originated in Tampa Bay (which continues is a melting pot for artists and musicians).