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Portland 'rock star violinist' plays school concert

DAVID F. ASHTON - Rock violinist Aaron Meyer begins his June 1 concert at Llewellyn Elementary School, on S.E. 14th in Westmoreland. Calling Aaron Meyer a “rock star concert violinist” isn’t hyperbole; he’s one of the original musicians with world-renowned band “Pink Martini” – and he has sold more than 1 million copies of his solo album, “Sympathique”.

So, when he returned for an assembly at Llewellyn Elementary School in Westmoreland on June 1st, his arrival was eagerly anticipated.

“As an educator, having music in our school is fantastic,” said Llewellyn Principal Joe Galati, as he helped set up for the program, held in the gym.

“He’s been here twice before, so having Aaron Meyer come is the highlight our year,” Galati told THE BEE. “The kids are so fired up to hear him because his music, with a violin, is tremendous.”

It’s not just a concert, Galati added. “Meyer gives little history and background along with the music.”

After setting up his digital electronic “band”, violinist Meyer said he appreciates the support of the Oregon Music Hall of Fame, and of the Southeast Portland Rotary Club, who sponsor his appearances.

“The best thing about participating in this program, for me, is providing education for the kids; keeping music in the schools,” commented Meyer.

“It's all about the kids; sharing music, while teaching them about math and science,” Meyer explained. “The way we present it, they don't even know that they’re ‘learning’. To them, they feel like they're just having fun with music.”

With the briefest of introductions Meyer began by playing two songs. His performance got the students’ immediate attention; he talked and played through his program.

“This is really great!” said a third-grader. “I want to play music, just like him”.