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BY JOYCE LOBECK
David Adler remembers well how he came to take piano lessons as a young boy: “My mother made me.”
In the doing, he found a passion for music that has become a large part of who he is today and the shape for his future.
Adler recently was named the winner of this year’s Helios Award presented during the Tribute of the Muses sponsored by the Yuma Art Center.
Introduced in 2010, the Helios Award recognizes a Yuma artist who is an up-and-coming voice within the Yuma arts community. Whether an artist, advocate or supporter of the arts, nominees may represent the visual arts, music, dance, theatre or arts philanthropy.
The name Tribute of the Muses orig of Zeus called Muses were considered the inspiration for the arts and sciences. Each Muse possessed a distinct gift among the disciplines of poetry, art, dance and music.
“Tribute of the Muses is a great night of all things local art,” Arts and Culture Program Manager Lindsay Benacka said in a news release. “Yuma’s arts community is exploding right now and this event is aimed to shine a light on those making it all happen while celebrating some major accomplishments in the creative sector.”
From his early years learning to play the piano, Adler moved on to the violin in his teens and today plays in the first violin section of the Yuma Civic Orchestra. He also performs in the Civic Light Orchestra and the String Ambassadors. Through his passion for music education, he not only mentors the younger musicians in the String Ambassadors, he also has been involved in helping with the Mesquite Elementary School and Crane Middle School string programs.
In addition to playing violin on stage for the Classics by Moonlight concert, he will start off the evening by piloting his hot air balloon for a balloon glow.
And perhaps some of the instruments his fellow musicians will be playing were repaired by him as the orchestra’s luthier. He also serves as an assistant to Director Janet Jones, helping set up the chairs and stands for the musicians.
When he’s not busy with the orchestra, Adler is attending Arizona Western College, where he majors in music composition. He is currently composing a musical with the hope of bringing it to life with the help of the Yuma community. He sees it as an excellent way to showcase the many talents in the community in the arts.
“I still love to perform,” he said, “but I took a liking to writing music. My goal is to write musicals.”
His passion for music grew slowly. He first picked up a violin when he was 13. “I wasn’t really into it at first,” he acknowledged, “until one day I played something from memory and someone said they liked it. I wasn’t the best player but that felt good. So at 14, I got serious … I started seriously practicing and was more committed. I put an emphasis on it. Now I really enjoy it and want to be the best I can be.”
It’s inspiring, he said, to perform with the Yuma Civic Orchestra in a professional setting and doing his part to make the orchestra sound good. It helps that his mother, Allison Adler, who plays viola, also is part of the orchestra. At home they practice together and play duets. His mother also plays flute and piccolo in the Yuma Community Band.
As for being a balloon pilot, Adler attended his first balloon festival when he was 6 and loved it. He got his first balloon ride in 2008. And when a balloon company came to Yuma in 2012, he offered to be part of the crew. From there, he earned his pilot license and this year got his commercial balloon pilot license.
Adler also serves the Yuma community through various groups including Saddles of Joy, Junior Optimist, Boy Scouts, Salvation Army, and the Boys and Girls Club. And he still finds time to hang out with his friends.
“I’m very proud of him,” Allison Adler said of her son. “I enjoy playing with him and listening to his compositions. We enjoy music together. The Lord has given David the wonderful talent and passion for music.”
PHOTO BY KIM DICKERSON
David Adler poses with his violin. He plays third chair in the first violin section of the Yuma Civic Orchestra and also performs with Yuma Civic Light Orchestra and the String Ambassadors.