MEET OUR MUSICIANS - Cordis Gilliam (CELLO)

image1

At what age and how did you choose your instrument?

When I was 5-6 years old, my dad brought me a Yamaha Keyboard as a gift for getting good grades in elementary school. Since I had no musicians on either side of my family, I taught myself to read music. It was about 2 years later that I watched my first symphony on TV. I knew immediately that I wanted to play the cello. We were in a town where there was no music in schools, no string teachers, and no one to guide me. We weren’t  in a position where we could afford any of it anyway. At age 28, I finally had the job I needed to support my musical dream of becoming a cellist. I have worked many hours to make up for the years that I wasn’t able to play.

What is your full-time profession and how do you balance it with music?

I am the Slot Analyst at Morongo Casino Resort and Spa. I work long hours and sometimes 6 days a week. My job shows support by allowing me to have a flexible schedule so that I can work during the day and perform at night. 

What does chamber music mean to you?

It means everything to me. Most of my life I would only listen to Baroque music only as I learned to play cello. Slowly, I began to appreciate classical and romance period music.

What motivated you to join the VCO?

A friend of mine invited me to play with VCO for the Schumann Piano Concerto at Broad Stage. I decided to give it a try and immediately fell in love with the group. The players in this group are very good and very friendly. Zain is amazing. I have no doubt that this orchestra will exceed expectation every year under his direction.  

Do you have any advice for young musicians?

If you are blessed with the gift of being a musician, use that gift to help others. Sometimes you may never know how much you touched or helped someone in the audience of a concert hall using your sound and emotions. Play as much repertoire as you can.



Updated July 2019