Artist of the Month - September 2019
Written By Jim T. Gammill
Arts Council Menifee
Kylene Evans has been fascinated with the harp for most of her life. She still remembers how the instrument had made her feel when she encountered one for the first time; she was attending church and saw the instrument being played when she was only three years old! On her seventh birthday, Kylene’s parents gave her a gift that would become a very big part of her life: a 28 string Celtic harp.
Kylene began taking lessons at the age of eight and found herself under the guidance of a gifted Menifee musician named Lauren Arasim. Her parents have been avid supporters of their daughter and her growing gift, for her tenth birthday, they bought her a 36 string lever harp and then a 47 string grand concert pedal harp in April of 2019.
Shortly after receiving her new harp, the young musician was able to attend Harp Camp at The University School of Music in Utah.
“I met many other harpists around my age and learned a lot about techniques, theory, how to properly perform, and how to be ready for college,” the artist reflects.
At the end of the camp, Kylene and her fellow attendees performed in the beautiful Libby Gardner Concert Hall.
She has since played in venues all over her native Canyon Lake, Menifee, and the surrounding locals. Her list of performance-based accomplishments include several church functions, weddings, funerals, and a performance of Phantom of the Opera with the Canyon Lake Choraleers (directed by local artist, Lorilee Bajema).
The musician has many influences and listens to a wide variety of music. Her biggest musical inspiration is the Russian harpist, Alexander Boldachev, who she hopes to see in concert if he ever comes to the Los Angeles area. Kylene also plays a variety of other stringed instruments including guitar, ukulele, and even plans to pick up the violin.
At only fifteen years old, Kylene has built her musical talents and expanded her personal range on a scale that many would be happy to achieve over the course of an entire lifetime, but it is what the musician chooses to do with her abilities that is even more remarkable. Kylene is certainly a growing young artist with music in her soul and altruism in her heart.
Kylene has suffered with anxiety issues for much of her life and has found that music is oftentimes her best therapy.
“Sometimes I just let all of the bad feelings out through music. It helps a lot and I am so thankful that The Lord has put the harp in my life and made it my calling,” Kylene stated.
It is these healing properties that Evans is always so happy to share with anyone she can. She often visits retirement communities, and rehabilitation centers to not only play music but also to talk to the residents.
“I know that they (the residents) enjoy my music, but I know how lonely they must be. Many of the people there have no family, or at least none that come to visit. I do my best to show them that people do care and that they are important,” Kylene said with a smile.
Evans also has been able to touch people with her music in some unlikely places. Just recently, the artist was playing her harp on a point overlooking the ocean in San Clemente.
“A woman was there, just looking out to the ocean and never saying a word. She stood there while I played for a long time, probably an hour or two. When I stopped playing, the woman told me that she was going through a hard time and that my music had helped her immensely.”
In addition to these accomplishments, Kylene Evans has performed at events for Arts Council Menifee and never fails to impress. It is for her outstanding achievements in music and her giving spirit that Arts Council Menifee is proud to name her as the Artist of the Month for the month of September.
Kylene lives in Canyon Lake with her parents, Lawrence and Michelle, and her sister, Kaitlyn.