Teen musician Jose Kropp was just 4 years old when he heard a live violin performance for the first time at a concert featuring Christian musician Michael Card.
|High school musician Jose Kropp takes classes at Palm Beach Atlantic University through PBA's dual enrollment program.|
Kropp’s parents recall that their preschooler seemed particularly mesmerized by Card’s violinist, Chenoa Alamu. “It was just the beauty of it, I guess,” said the now 16-year-old, who later had a chance to meet Alamu. “I couldn’t be away from that sound.”
Today, Kropp not only continues to study the violin, he is also learning the art of music composition. Primarily home schooled, Kropp has been dual enrolled since last fall in Palm Beach Atlantic University’s School of Music and Fine Arts, where he studies composition with Professor of Music Dr. Tim Thompson.
During the fall semester, Kropp was the grand prize winner in the “Treasure Coast’s Got Talent?” competition at the StarStruck Theatre in Stuart with an entry titled “Spark of Inspiration,” a piece he wrote for violin and orchestra. Kropp said he was inspired to write the piece after reading Benjamin Franklin's autobiography and learning about his discovery of electricity.
Jose Kropp poses with his trophy from the 2012 “Treasure Coast’s Got Talent?” competition.
Jose Kropp performs his award-winning composition in this YouTube video.
It was the first time one of his original works had been performed in public, he said. “Everyone was telling me how much it touched them and how beautiful it was,” said Kropp, who hopes to become a film score composer someday.
Kropp’s musical background includes two years as a participant in PBA’s Preparatory Department, which provides weekly individual and group instruction in music and dance to children and youth ages 3 to 18. He also has taken lessons for several years with Stuart-based violin instructor Peggie O’Neill.
For the past two years, he has performed with the PBA Symphony, which he believes is helping him with his composing, he said.
He also credits Dr. Thompson’s instruction with helping him to develop his craft. “The class really helped me delve into the technical aspects of composition,” he said.
Dr. Thompson said that Kropp has been able to benefit from his years as a violinist. “He already had some maturity of style based on his experience as a musician,” he said.
In addition to performing with the symphony, Kropp plays music in his church, Horizon Baptist Church in Loxahatchee, and he has played at such places as The Breakers, the Maltz Jupiter Theatre, the Eissey Theatre, Mar-a Lago, Walt Disney World, Give Kids the World Village, the Hibel Museum, Roger Dean Stadium, South Florida Fair and others. He also has performed on the Christian television show “Coffee Club Live.”
Kropp is the oldest of three siblings. His father, Ken, serves as grounds manager for National Management Resources Corp., which provides facilities and grounds maintenance for Palm Beach Atlantic.
The teen, who also takes a government class at another local college, now spends two days a week on PBA’s campus.
“PBA has helped me so much,” he said. “It has sharpened me to be able to apply my passion.”