Montreal student takes home prestigious music award

Click to play video: 'Montreal student takes home prestigious music award'
Montreal student takes home prestigious music award
WATCH: A Montreal student was recently awarded a prestigious prize for his composition skills. Devon Packer, 16, is an accomplished pianist, arranger and now composer too. Global News' Felicia Parrillo caught up with the teen at his Montreal high school – Apr 9, 2022

It doesn’t take long to realize that 16-year-old Montrealer, Devon Packer has a gift.

Packer has loved the piano for as long as he can remember.

When he was three years old, he asked his parents for piano lessons.

After many refused to take him as a student, because of his age, the McGill Conservatory accepted him at the age of five.

“My parents, they have this story. I went to Parc des Rapides [at two years old] and I took a wooden stick and started conducting the rapids,” he laughed.
Story continues below advertisement

Over the years, Packer’s talent has brought him all over the world, from venues in Canada to others in Europe and even New York’s Carnegie Hall.

His parents say music has become part of who he is.

Breaking news from Canada and around the world sent to your email, as it happens.

“He loves performing personally, he loves seeing other people perform, he loves hearing new sounds,” said his father, David Packer.

“Music is in him and he’s in the music.”

Until now, the Royal Vale student has dedicated a lot of his time to the piano, but during the pandemic, as his performances got cancelled, he started to focus on composing music.

In March, he was recognized for his skills and awarded the 2022 Commonwealth International Composition award for his song ‘Reaching.’

“I was really proud of him and happy that he was getting this recognition that he really deserves,” said his music teacher at Royal Vale, Michelle Smith.

“All of the hard work that he put in on his own, while at home.”

Click to play video: 'Montreal music band Fireball Rainbow scores tickets to see Billie Eilish'
Montreal music band Fireball Rainbow scores tickets to see Billie Eilish

Devon will be graduating from Royal Vale this summer.

Story continues below advertisement

Next year, he’ll be attending Marianopolis College, where he’ll continue to pursue his studies and his goal of one day becoming a successful pianist and composer.

But until then, now that live performances are back, he’s excited to be playing at Places des Arts in June.

Sponsored content