BROOKFIELD, Wis. — Frank Almond is no stranger to performing in front of crowds and playing violin. 

“I was a concertmaster for the Milwaukee Symphony for 25 years, and now I’m the artist in residence at the Milwaukee Youth Symphony,” Almond said. 

On Friday, he performed at Brookfield Academy, playing a few pieces of classical music with his accompanist. 

“We played a couple of movements from a Mozart sonata, and then we played a couple of movements of a sonata by a Norwegian composer named Edvard Grieg.”

The violin he played those pieces on has a connection to Grieg, and it was made in 1715. 

“His best friend owned this violin for decades, so I’m sure they played all kinds of stuff together, so that’s kind of a cool connection,” Almond said. 

The students watching thought so too — especially Ilina and Ishani Joshi. The two sisters have been playing violin for the last 10 years. 

“I thought it was really cool,” Ishani Joshi said. “I liked the sound of the violin and the fact that it was so old was kind of amazing.”

The Joshi sisters were grateful to see such an accomplished local violinist take the time to perform at their school. 

They said they both like to play the violin and want to continue for years to come. 

“For me, it just takes me away from stress or, whenever, it makes me feel really happy all the time,” said Ilina Joshi. “I love learning new things and learning new pieces make me really excited and I want to continue.”

That is Almond’s goal. He said he wants to get people interested in being creative. 

“If five kids today think, ‘Ah, that’s really interesting,’ that’s enough for me,” Almond said. 

Almond is thankful that schools offer these types of programs in addition to the focus on science, technology, engineering and math. 

“I love to see organizations and schools like this that are so supportive of this kind of education because so often it’s one of the first things to go,” Almond said. “This is a shortcut to get to a lot of great things.”

Because while not everyone will be an artist, Almond said it’s important to just plant that creative seed that can grow in any type of field.