In the eyes of her mother, young bass player becomes superstar
BY CAMILLE M. DOTY
April 28, 2011 at 9:01 p.m.
Updated April 27, 2011 at 11:28 p.m.
Kayla Bonugli and Steven Acosta share a love for music through playing instruments. Although Steven is in high school, he is learning to play bass from 12-year-old Kayla. She began playing at the beginning of the school year and hasn't put the bow down yet.
"I like it very much. It has a low tune," she said.
The bass may tower over Kayla's petite frame, but playing has given her confidence to make her feel tall. The Howell Middle School student said proudly, "I'm the backbone of the orchestra because my sound is so different."
Kayla's backbone has become stronger because she carries her instrument everywhere she goes. And she doesn't seem to mind it.
Her mother, Aurelia Tapia, agreed and said, "She's got the biggest instrument, and she can handle it." Tapia said her daughter has become stronger socially and academically. Now she is on the A/B honor roll, the student council and has won medals for her solo performances.
Kayla on Thursday evening shared her love for bass with Steven and others at the Downtown Rhythms' musical petting zoo. Steven praised his teacher and said, "She's helpful, and I'd like to play again."
The zoo is a way for children to practice the instruments they hear at the concerts. The concept was introduced 10 years ago to make instruments tangible for students, according to Michelle Hall, of the Victoria Symphony.
The executive director said, "It (the zoo) gives students an opportunity to become engaged."
She also added that it's hard for children to sit through a concert, but the outside venue introduces children to music and instruments in a relaxed atmosphere. Hall said she hopes children will learn to appreciate music well into adulthood.
Kayla wants to be a dentist, but she said she would never give up playing bass.