Nanaimo piano player and future physician honored for ‘excellence in culture’
Instead of a ceremony, City of Nanaimo Mayor Leonard Krog hand-delivered the 2020 Culture and Heritage Awards to the current year’s champs. The city likewise released online video profiles of the beneficiaries. This is the first in a four-section series on the current year’s honor victors.
Devon Joiner said he plans to recuperate individuals through music and medication.
Joiner, a classical pianist, and doctor in training is the beneficiary of the City of Nanaimo’s 2020 Culture and Heritage Award for Excellence in Culture. The award honors the individuals who have “achieved regional and/or national recognition in the fields of arts and are recognized as a ‘Nanaimo artist,’ have demonstrated excellence in their field and are a significant inspiration to others.”
Joiner said he’s glad for the acknowledgment and that it’s important to get much respect from his hometown.
“That’s the place where I grew up and where I had my start,” he said. “And Nanaimo’s always been such a supportive community for me coming for my concerts and encouraging me to pursue music.”
Joiner, who experienced childhood in a “very musical” family, began playing piano at four years old and when he was 10 he realized he needed to be a concert piano player.
“My mom took piano lessons as a kid and she thought it would be a great activity for me and so I started playing and I really loved it,” he said. “And they didn’t even have to force me to practice or anything.”
After secondary school Joiner sought after his musical education at UBC, followed by the Juilliard School in New York City. A couple of years in the wake of graduating, Joiner started his studies in medication at New York’s Columbia University and he’s at present during the time spent finishing his residency.
Joiner said he generally had an interest in science, however, he needed to save it while he was dedicating himself to studying music. He said he felt that by seeking after medication he would have the option to assist individuals with night something other than through music.
“I felt I had more to offer the world,” Joiner said. “I can really help people in a visceral way with their health and then through music, I can help people emotionally. And the combination of those was really what I wanted to be able to do in my life.”
Joiner’s field is ophthalmology, the study of the eye. He said it’s a territory that suits him because as a piano player he has some transferable skills.
“Doing something surgical was really interesting to me because I felt like I have all these fine motor skills from the piano that would really help me to do that,” he said. “And ophthalmology, it’s very delicate surgeries in the eye and you need to have a lot of precision.”
Later on, Joiner intends to balance medication and music to perform the two concerts and surgeries. At present that has been a challenge as his residency expects him to work 14 hours a night, however, he’s resolved to enjoy both of his passions.
“It might be a little bit challenging but I know it’s something that I really want to do so I know I’ll be able to make it work,” he said.
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