Keilani Bolhuis

Keilani Bolhuis began studying violin at PCM at 6 years old and currently studies with Elizabeth Hedman. Keilani’s broad interest in music has inspired her to enroll in a variety of PCM programs, including jazz violin with Megan Shung, summer Jazz workshop with Dr. Ray Briggs, and Mariachi Pasadena!, which launched last school year. She recently shared more about her musical interests, as well as her aspirations.

PCM: Why did you want to start playing violin to begin with and what do you like most about it?
KB: I just started learning piano, and my parents originally thought violin would help me develop a good ear. I had really good teachers, classes, and made a lot of friends at PCM that made it really fun to learn, so I never stopped! I like learning new and exciting pieces, and I also love to play with other people, like in chamber, orchestra, and jazz ensembles. I started off learning classical violin, but I recently got into jazz violin, and I love that too! I’ve also been taking theory classes at PCM for the past five years, which has really helped me make a lot of progress.

PCM: What piece are you most looking forward to learning and why?
KB: I’m really looking forward to learning Zigeunerweisen by Sarasate someday. I just think it’s a really beautiful piece with a lot of cool (and challenging) techniques.

PCM: Last fall you were enrolled in Mariachi Pasadena. What inspired you to want to learn Mariachi?
KB: There was a performance at Hollywood Bowl that I attended that featured Mariachi groups. I really liked the music, because it sounds joyful and spirited, and also because it’s a lot different than classical or jazz music, so it was a new art form for me to learn.

Keilani Bolhuis with Mariachi Pasadena

PCM: Ms. Megan shared that you are tutoring another violin student. What do you like about doing that and what has that experience been like?
KB: I really like being able to stay connected to Ms. Megan’s studio, and it’s been really rewarding to help another young student who’s learning what I was learning around six years ago. When I was first learning violin, a lot of older students motivated me to continue learning. I also had tutors that would help me, which was a really fun and helpful experience!

PCM: What is your favorite musical experience at PCM?
KB: I really enjoyed doing Intermediate Violin Ensemble last fall, because of the fun repertoire we’d learn, amazing and beautiful group sound, and because all the kids were so nice! The best part of PCM is the friendships I’ve made, and the moments before and after concerts where we’d laugh and talk together or run all around campus! Community is so important and that’s what PCM has given me.