Cellist Troy Kenneth Stuart loves the instrument's sound
How would you like to play Carnegie Hall, meet Yo-Yo Ma and win a music scholarship -- all before turning 25?
How, in other words, would you like to be Troy Kenneth Stuart?
The cellist from West Baltimore likes it just fine, thank you very much.
In fact, he says, "I love what I do so much sometimes I feel selfish."
Today at 5 p.m. he'll share his passion for classical music during a free concert at the Eubie Blake Cultural Center.
A self-described late bloomer, he grew up listening to everything from pop to gospel but didn't take up the cello until he was 13. "I loved the size of it and the sound of it. It fit my personality," says the outgoing 24-year-old.
After graduating from the Baltimore School for the Arts, he went on to Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio. But after four intense years there, he took time off from music, working as a restaurant host to pay college bills.
Last year he began studying music again as a graduate student at Peabody Conservatory and recently received a Martell Cordon Bleu scholarship, which was presented to him by Dudley Moore.
Although Mr. Stuart hopes to join a symphony one day, his immediate dreams are more modest. "Right now," he says, "I'm just focused on being the best cellist I can be."
Dottie Fried wants to see people dancing in hospitals.
Not patients, of course, but members of Kinetics Dance Theatre.
The executive director of the Ellicott City-based group has good reason for bringing the two worlds together. Two years ago, they collided in her life when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
To reach her goal, she has organized a Kinetics benefit at the Baltimore Museum of Art on Saturday to help bring dance to people with cancer and AIDS.
"I really feel like I want to do things for people with terminal illness. . . . What if that's me someday?" says the Baltimore County mother of two, who is in her 40s.
A dance lover since she was a child, she attended the Juilliard School of Music in New York City and trained under dance legends Martha Graham and Jose Limon. Eight years ago, she formed Kinetics.
After becoming ill, she began delegating her artistic responsibilities so she could focus on keeping the company financially sound and have more free time.
"My attitude toward what I want in my life has changed," she says. "Even though I think dance is important, people are what's really important to me now."