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Student Spotlight: Owen Cleary

The Myrna Loy often partners with the Helena Youth Orchestra to offer master class experiences with our visiting artists. Recently, we asked Helena student and Youth Orchestra member, Owen Cleary, to tell us a bit about how his experiences at The Myrna Loy influence him as a young musician. His stories remind us just how much impact a few moments can have!

The Myrna has been an incredibly valuable part of my music education. Most recently, I was able to work with two outstanding bass players and talk with a legendary jazz figure. The bass players from Rhythm Future Quartet and the Emmet Cohen Trio took time to work with me and share their great depth of knowledge. Their styles and approaches to music were completely different, but they had so much to offer. From Greg Loughman of Rhythm Future, I learned a technical approach to jazz and jazz theory. From Russell of Emmett Cohen trio, a more soulful and less pedagogical approach to internalizing the structure of jazz. 

Last winter, Dr. Lonnie Smith, a living jazz legend, played at the Myrna. After his extraordinary show, he sat down and talked with me about the nature of music and how it is in our hearts. He told me that it is in my heart and filled me with hope and excitement for my future as a young musician. 

It is such a gift to be able to attend live shows with amazing artists right here in Helena, in our neighborhood theater. Even better, to have the opportunity to learn with these world class musicians who come to our community and graciously share their knowledge with me.

Photo credit: Jason O’Neil

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