(MELANIE JOHNSON) — Jahshanti Henry is a 16 year old senior at the School of the Arts who has gone viral on social media. His flute performance outside the Eastman School of Music has gotten more than 20,000 views.
“I took out my flute, started playing and I made a crowd and everyone loved it. I loved it as well and it was history from there.
“As a mom with a teenage boy playing the flute in Rochester it`s not always easy for him because he`s expected to play sports however I just tell him have fun with the flute, share your music, don’t worry about what other people say about you, just enjoy what you do and look to the future.” Said Jahshanti’s mom, Tabethia Gallimore.
Jahshanti has been playing the flute since he was 9 and remembers all of the obstacles that stood in his way.
“A lot of people get surprised. They never see an African American male play the flute and its pretty new to people, said Jahshanti. It`s pretty sad that in this society you’re still not accepted. Being told that I don’t look like a Eastman Community school student and that I could do something else with my life like play basketball or work on cars, it`s been hard.”
The teenage flute player says after he graduates from SOTA he wants to go to college at the Eastman School of Music. His story is inspiring those around him.
“I want to play the flute because I get motivated by my brother and when he plays the flute I start dancing because the music he plays it just flows through me and it makes me feel great,” said Jahshanti’s 8 year old sister, Jahnyah Winterkorn.
“I`m proud about the fact that he enjoy what he does, said his mom. I`m proud about the fact that this will be a career for him and that he`s not a statistic.”
Jahshanti`s lifelong dream is to play in a professional orchestra like the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra .
“I played my music I did what my mom tolf me to do and its paying off now.”