Born into a Venezuelan musical family, Andrea Lucía Villarroel Molina hopes to delight Trinidadian audiences with her violin playing.
Raised in the Bolivar state, Andrea and her family arrived in Trinidad in March 2018, like many of their countrymen looking for better opportunities, but not forgetting their roots.
“My mother (Iraima), my father (Andrés), my sister (Dayana) and I arrived by plane, a flight in which I brought my suitcases full of hope and above all my talent to give and show here. Thank God, it has been that way,” said Andrea, ten.
Newsday Kids interviewed her at the Hispanic Cultural Centre in Arima, near her current home.
“Mom obtained a work permit through the Alutech company – she is a mechanical engineer. In Venezuela, my older brother, Andrés (23), is finishing his arts studies in music at the Arturo Michelena University.”
Andrea is the youngest in this family of musicians. Her sister Dayana, 15, is at St Joseph’s College in St Joseph and is a Grade Six flute-player. They get their talent from both parents.
“My mother plays the Venezuelan cuatro and guitar and my father is a percussionist. They play for the Holy Cross Church in Arima. They are my guide.”
Andrea has been learning music since she was four, when her mother enrolled her in the Fundación Lala school in her hometown.
“I started with a flute. It helped me a lot to get started in music: it was easier to identify the notes with my good musical ear,” she said.
Two years ago, her teachers proposed a change and she chose the violin.
“It is a magical instrument, it can have a hard or low sound – it depends on how you feel the song, and that is what inspires me,” she said.
When the family arrived in TT they started looking for a music school. They met Prof Kenneth Listhrop, conductor of the TT Youth Philharmonic, who has dedicated his time to Andrea. She is among the cast for the orchestra’s concert – With a Christmas Heart – at NAPA, Port of Spain, this weekend.
“We are rehearsing It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, and another 12 songs for this event,” she said.
Andrea is grateful because the orchestra is giving her an opportunity to demonstrate her talent and, above all, improve it.
“I dream of playing the violin professionally on big stages and symphony orchestras around the world. I would like to return to Venezuela already transformed into a violin professional, that my music will inspire Venezuelans.”
Andrea has many talents. In addition to the flute and violin, she is also a dancer and has danced with several dance schools, including the Paso a Paso Academy, which is run by the Hispanic Cultural Centre. She practises gymnastics at the Centre of Excellence, Macoya, as well.
Music is closest to her heart, however.
“I could try… the piano, I started practising it. But I like the violin more,” she said with a laugh.