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A Musical Life: Dan Overholt

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Dan Overholt is a Wichita-based musician and educator.

“When I was in elementary school my sister had already gone toward learning the viola. My dad played the violin. My parents didn’t push me into it but I think there was a strong sense of, ‘Hey, we could play music together if you round out our little trio with the cello.’ So I picked that up in elementary school at College Hill Elementary and stuck with it all the way through college.

“Classical music sometimes feels very separate or distinct from popular music. I feel like when I was learning as a young person it was its own whole universe: ‘This is the kind of music that you play on the cello; here’s the kind of music that you listen to on the radio. They’re separate.’ But I think there was a real moment of joy and creativity for me when I found out, ‘Oh, I can use this instrument to play any kind of music I want.’ It’s fun to use the cello to play the Beatles or to write my own songs in the way that I had learned to do maybe a little bit on the guitar.”

Jedd Beaudoin is host/producer of the nationally syndicated program Strange Currency. He has also served as an arts reporter, a producer of A Musical Life and a founding member of the KMUW Movie Club. As a music journalist, his work has appeared in Pop Matters, Vox, No Depression and Keyboard Magazine.