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VIDEO: Bella Coola Valley Nuxalk teen’s piano playing impresses listeners

Coastyn Hall, 13, will perform at the Bella Coola Valley Music Festival Saturday, July 15
Coastyn Hall, 13, plays piano during a noon-hour concert Friday, June 23 at Acwsalcta School. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

A 13-year-old Nuxalk teenager living in the Bella Coola Valley has been wowing locals with his piano playing.

Coastyn Hall started teaching himself how to play the piano less than a year ago.

“I tried lessons, but gave up to learn other instruments and then started piano again at school in September,” he said.

Coastyn attends Acwsalcta School and has been playing an electric piano there, which the school has now loaned him to take home for the summer.

On Friday, June 23, 2023, he performed some pieces during the final noon-hour session of a Lunch and Listen concert series taking place in one of the classrooms at the school.

While he mostly plays by ear, Coastyn said he has watched a few videos of people playing the piano to learn from them.

So far he has taught himself about six pieces including Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata and Fur Elise, both of which he has made his own variations.

He has composed a few pieces as well.

Playing mostly on an electric keyboard, he has also played a regular piano and said he likes things about both types of the instrument.

Born in Vancouver, he moved with his father Damion Hall and stepmother Hillary Edgar to the Bella Coola Valley in the summer of 2019, where Damion and Hillary are both from originally.

Damion said his son is great at whatever he puts his mind to.

Edgar added her stepson also designs games online.

“He has so many talents,” she said, noting his mom Sarah Allan bought him a keyboard.

When asked what other plans he has for the summer, Coastyn said he is also learning how to play the guitar.

Locals who have not heard Coastyn play will have an opportunity on Saturday, July 15 as he will performing at the Bella Coola Music Festival at 3:30 p.m.

He was recently added to the schedule after his dad inquired with the festival’s organizers and pitched the idea.

Other than performing at the school, Coastyn said he has not played in public, although Edgar said if they go anywhere that has a piano, it’s a guarantee he will start playing it.

READ MORE: Bella Coola Valley Music Festival returns fully in 2023

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Monica Lamb-Yorski

About the Author: Monica Lamb-Yorski

A B.C. gal, I was born in Alert Bay, raised in Nelson, graduated from the University of Winnipeg, and wrote my first-ever article for the Prince Rupert Daily News.
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