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An interview with … Trés Foster, PCMF Alumnus, class of 2019!

Currently taking a gap year from his studies at the New England Conservatory of Music, cellist Trés Foster has used his time to work on himself: to practice, to exercise, to sleep, to work on a balanced existence. As the pandemic shut down the possibilities of travel and playing with other musicians, he has focused on teaching his own students, and through that has come to better understand what his own teachers had been trying to instill in him: an awareness of fundamentals. “The teacher will not present himself until the student is ready” is a quote that he says his long-time cello teacher had taught him - namely, that the student does not truly take in something until their mind is ready for it.

Tres started on the piano at age 9, but switched to cello at 13, when he decided he was just ready to move on to another instrument. He thinks he chose the cello at the time mostly because of its size – that it wasn’t as tiny as the violin! He laughs at the randomness of the choice he made, a choice that had life-changing consequences.

As the PCMF brings students of varied ages and backgrounds together, Trés (number three in his family – thus the trés!) remembers how much he enjoyed being a sort of big brother to some of the younger kids. One of his favorite memories of Pacific Crest Music Festival? On the last day, as he had a bit of time before performing with PCMF faculty at the final concert, several students and Dr. Chiharu Sai decided to drive up the breath-taking Mount Shasta for a hike. They lingered a bit long, lost in the expansive thoughts of the time they’d all spent, and almost missed their performance!

What lies in the future? Trés is excited to return to the NECM in the fall to complete his studies, and after that, hopes to be a recording artist, perhaps do some studio work, teach, and work on what he calls “inclusion”: to “create an appreciation for high art and for the past”, and to help folks better understand “how our past completely shapes our future.” We wish our cellist-philosopher-alumnus a wonderful musical future!


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