The Hamels Foundation – led by Heidi Hamels and Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Cole Hamels – is holding their first-ever event in Chicago… and we’ll be celebrating with them as they extend their commitment to education to our great city! We are so honored to share that our students will be performing at their #FirstPitchGala on August 4. Hear what our student, Diego C., has to say about this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to perform in front of some of his role models: the Chicago Cubs players!
TPMS: So… you’re playing for the Chicago Cubs THIS WEEK! How does it feel?
Diego: I’m so excited to meet the Cubs! And to have the opportunity to play music for them. It’s going to be an amazing experience.
TPMS: Do you like performing live? What is it like to be on stage?
Diego: I used to get pretty nervous, but I don’t usually feel that way anymore. Sometimes it doesn’t hit me until I’m on stage and starting to play. I’ve played solo pieces, but I love playing with a group of musicians, because we can build on each other and work together to create the best sound we can. I’m excited to show what we can do at The Hamels Foundation event!
TPMS: How have you been preparing for the event?
Diego: We’ve been working hard on practicing the songs we’re going to perform at the event (“Respect” and “Havana”). I also attended the El Sistema Midwest Seminario in Indiana with a group from The People’s Music School earlier this summer, where students from around the world came together to study and perform. We learned “Get Ready,” “We Shall Overcome,” and “The Tempest” in just one week – it was challenging, but we ended up sounding great!
TPMS: Has learning an instrument taught you anything you can apply to your classes in school, or to other aspects of your life?
Diego: Music has taught me the importance of practice, and not giving up. You can’t really be perfect at a piece – you’ll mess up at some point whether you like it or not. You just have to keep practicing and working on the things you’re having a difficult time with. It’s made me more focused. It’s also given me the opportunity to collaborate with other people and to be creative – when you’re playing with a group, sometimes you have to make adjustments. It’s fun to adjust music so I can play it on my own, too – I learned “Let It Go” from Frozen for my mom’s birthday, and she loved it.
TPMS: How has music changed your life?
Diego: Music has opened up so many opportunities for me. It makes me feel more open… I used to be really quiet and reserved, but now that I play music, I’m able to share more of myself with other people.