Hitting the right note: 2 new pianos on the way for Cree students
'I want to inspire people. I want to show people I have talent,' says 13-year-old Xavier Iserhoff
Young Cree musicians in the James Bay region of Quebec will be getting two new pianos to play after videos of them practising sparked a fundraising campaign.
"I can't wait to play it," said Xavier Iserhoff, 13, who learned to play piano with the help of YouTube and an out-of-tune piano in the student lounge at his local high school in Chisasibi, Que. "This one's a little too old."
Iserhoff said he wants to continue to practise and improve.
"I want to inspire people. I want to show people I have talent," said Iserhoff.
The fundraising campaign, which has raised close to $5,000 so far, was launched after videos of Iserhoff and his cousin, Mason Pepabano, playing the piano went viral before Christmas.
"The youth have amazing talent playing instruments," said Leslie Herodier, who works as a re-adaptation officer at the James Bay Eeyou School in Chisasibi (JBES) and first posted the videos of Iserhoff and Pepabano playing.
Herodier said the videos were viewed more than 10,000 times.
"I did not expect to see a lot of views of the videos," he said. With the help of the local recreation department, he started fundraising to get better instruments for the youth to play.
Roy Neacappo, recreation co-ordinator for the Cree Nation of Chisasibi, said it was important to him to make sure the fundraising was successful.
"They are very talented," said Neacappo. "These are kids that don't play sports."
Close to $2,500 was raised at a local volleyball tournament and an arts exhibition before Christmas and then was matched by JBES school.
The money will go toward buying a new piano this spring.
A second piano is also being donated by a friend of Neacappo's and will be shipped from the south shore of Montreal.