Uptown Violins

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Under the Sea

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Next week Uptown Violins is excited to host Vacation Music School in Illinois! Our theme this year, Under the Sea, has been a favorite in previous years in both Kansas and Texas. Each day, we will learn about various sea creatures and some of the most beloved ocean-themed music.

On Monday, we will go for a deep dive into the abyssal zone of the ocean — over 3,000 feet below the surface! Home to dragon fish and occasionally the elusive giant squid, the creatures of this region live in perpetual darkness. Students will listen to Saint-Saens’ “Aquarium”— movement seven of The Carnival of the Animals, composed in 1886. This particular movement is made up of string quartet, two pianos, flute, and glass harmonica. Disney continued to promote its popularity, as film composer Alan Irwin Menken drew inspiration from it for the Prologue to Beauty and the Beast. He also wrote the music to The Little Mermaid whose song “Under the Sea” will be our theme music for the week.

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Another beloved water-themed work is Handel’s Water Music. Composed in 1717, it is a wonderful example of the Baroque era. This large orchestral work is made up of three suites, including minuets (dances played with three beats per measure), hornpipes (fanfares) and bourrées (dances). King George I commissioned it for a performance on London’s iconic River Thames, festive with fireworks.

Tuesday we will travel to the twilight zone (middle layer) of the ocean, where we will discover whales and sharks. Students will encounter John Williams’ villainous two-note motif from the 1975 horror film Jaws. The music provides the perfect opportunity for young musicians to learn how to ramp up musical tension by beginning slowly, and gradually speeding up the tempo with an accelerando to the shark attack. Williams’ theme sounds similar to Dvorak’s fourth movement of his New World Symphony, composed in 1893 at the National Conservatory of Music of America. And who can teach shark day without singing the now epic Baby Shark, which has been made even more epic by James Cordon and even covered by Céline Dion.

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On a less ominous note (no pun intended!), we will listen to the beautiful impressionistic sounds of Debussy’s La Mer. The French composer wrote the work between 1903-1905 in three movements. The first depicts dawn to midday on the sea, the second represents ocean waves, and the third shows the communication between wind and sea. Debussy drew his inspiration from the ocean itself, as well as paintings of the sea.

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Wednesday we will explore the sunlight zone at the surface of the water, home to a vast majority of marine life, including dolphins. We at Uptown Violins love the popular jazz song “Beyond the Sea,” originally composed by Charles Trenet with French lyrics in 1946, in which Trenet depicted the beauty of la mer. Jack Lawrence adapted it for English-speaking audiences the same year, and Bobby Darin immortalized it in his 1959 version of the song.

Vacation Music School will wrap up on Thursday with a virtual trip to the beach where we will learn about turtles, alligators, and seagulls. Of course our study of the beach wouldn’t be complete without a tribute to the sixties’ band “The Beach Boys.” Our twenty-first century students will listen to the classics “Surfin Safari” and “Surfin U.S.A.”

We can’t wait until next week to begin our musical adventure Under the Sea!

Helping [Musicians] Become Artists

Recently I have been enjoying K.M. Weiland’s insightful podcast “Helping Writers Become Authors.” She is a master of fiction writing, as well as a brilliant nonfiction author who mentors other writers in their literary craft.

After listening to her recent inspirational podcast “Helping Authors Become Artists,” I couldn’t help but see how it applies to the art of music in additional to the art of writing.

I recommend reading it (or listening to it, if you scroll to the bottom of the article there is a link to the audio) while following along with my musical parallels. Try substituting the terms “writer” with “violin (or other instrument) player,” “author” with “musician,” and keep the term “artist,” which applies to both authors and musicians alike.

Opening:

 Like K.M. Weiland in her journey as an author, our Uptown Violins blog has helped me chronicle our story as a family of musicians.

I like Weiland’s statement, “If you’re a writer, you’re already an artist… You write, therefore you are a writer,” However, she continues, “the term ‘artist’ connotes something a little bigger, a little grander, a little more dedicated, a little more responsible, and a little more accomplished.” We don’t just want to listen to songs, even if they’re performed accurately. We want something that helps us experience something new and inspirational. “Even in our story-saturated culture, authors are few enough and artists are rare indeed.”

“What an Artist Is—and Is Not”

 “1. An Artist Is… a Master Storyteller”

We have to slave away at our craft to truly master it. Just being talented doesn’t cut it. We have to apply diligence to our music, which comes from daily practice.

“2. An Artist Is… a ‘Poet Soul’”

“The ‘poet soul’ is something special that burns in the hearts of true artists… It is something within that resonates to Beauty and to Truth.”

“3. An Artist Is… a Visionary Mind”

As musicians we need to have a unique vision for our music, as well as the skills needed to accomplish this vision.

“4. An Artist Is Not… Someone Who Is Above The Form”

 Even people who have natural musical talent still need to follow the rules of good positions and proper technique.

“5. An Artist Is Not… a Hack”

“Artists have something to say. They have the ‘artistic vision’ and ‘poet’s soul’ (sometimes in spite of themselves).” Although music is our job, we also do it for a deeper reason. We believe that it has intrinsic value.

“6. An Artist Is Not… a Propagandist”

This one is a little more writing specific, and less applicable to instrumental music. However, it does suggest that we shouldn’t simply use our place as musicians to push our views on others, even though we have a right to those views.

“7. An Artist Is Not… Pretentious”

Weiland admits that there are tons of pretentious artists, but this shouldn’t be the path of a mature artist. Instead, your focus could align with hers. “I want to write something someday that is everything I’ve ever wanted a story to be. It doesn’t have to be famous or even recognized. But I hope someday just to write it… In the practical sense of my ink-stained [black calloused] fingers, I absolutely think of myself as an artist. I pursue integrity in my work. I hone the craft. I have a vision for what I do.” This dedication to the craft makes artistry a lifelong goal.

Closing

 Weiland writes, “Even if the title of “artist” is one you already possess, I encourage you to join me in thinking of it as a calling all its own, one worth striving toward with every word we write.”

As violinists we strive to embody Weiland’s view of artists in our musical endeavors, and I agree that it truly is a calling that we take pride and joy in pursuing.

 If you are looking for some summer reading, I highly recommend you check out K.M. Weiland’s books! She has several of them available in paperback, Kindle, and even a few in audio format for those of us with an auditory bent!

Senior Recital

This month had been a particularly special one for Uptown Violins! Christy Peterson will graduate this May with her Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance. As a result, we all returned to Baylor University to attend her fabulous senior recital on April 7th.

Christy began on a light note with Beethoven’s lovely Sonata No. 8, which she performed beautifully. She contrasted this classical era work with Debussy’s impressionistic Violin Sonata, a favorite among all the Peterson girls. Composed in 1917, Debussy performed it on the piano himself at the premiere shortly before his death in 1918.

Christy continued the French theme, performing the formidable Carmen Fantasy, Sarasate’s violin take on Bizet’s famous opera. Flashy and deceptively difficult, Christy personified the gypsy Carmen herself in her stunning red dress. (Her mother Allison had the opportunity to play the Carmen opera this past weekend, so it seems to be a favorite this year!)

Lastly, Christy ended the recital on her electric violin playing a classical/contemporary music mashup with sister Brittany. They began with a duet version of French composer Ravel’s gypsy work Tzigane, followed by a funky pop mix.

The entire recital was phenomenal, and we are so incredibly proud of Christy. Her teacher, Dr. Eka Gogichashvili, taught all five of us over the past 16 years, and we are so grateful to her for all of her instruction, as well as the time and dedication of our mother to help us all achieve our goal of performing our collegiate senior recitals!

Bravo Christy!

Sleeping Beauty

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On March 31, 2019 my daughter Annalise and I had the opportunity to see Tchaikovsky’s ballet Sleeping Beauty performed live by the Millikin-Decatur Symphony Orchestra in collaboration with the Alabama Ballet. They did a phenomenal job, and I especially enjoyed hearing a friend of mine play the beautiful violin solos as the concertmaster of the pit orchestra. This was also a special event for us because it was my daughter’s first time to see a ballet performed live, and she is obsessed with Disney’s 1959 film Sleeping Beauty.

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The fairy tale has quite a rich history, beginning in the 14th century, and continuing into the 21st. During my graduate French studies, I had the opportunity to read 17th century French author Charles Perrault’s version of the fairy tale, which largely inspired Tchaikovsky’s 19th century work. Perrault told a wild tale of a king and queen who finally had their first child, a baby girl. They invited several fairy godmothers to the celebration of her birth, where they bestowed gifts on the princess. However, an old evil fairy, jealous that she had not been invited, cast a spell on the princess, saying that she would prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and die. Fortunately, the last fairy came to the aid of the princess, changing the curse from death to a hundred-year slumber that she could only awaken from by the kiss of a prince. Consequently, the princess did indeed prick her finger and slept for one hundred years, until a prince came to wake her and make her his bride. Perrault continues into a bizarre second half of the story, which was not included in the ballet. (As strange as it was, Perrault’s account was still a “more wholesome” version than the 14th century tale which inspired him!)

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Tchaikovsky’s ballet and the 1959 Disney film share many similarities, including much of Tchaikovsky’s original music. Maleficent’s ominous leitmotif adequately injects fear into the best of us (and I’m afraid our little ones as well!) Like my daughter now, I grew up watching the film, which was my first introduction to Tchaikovsky’s music. My sisters and I particularly enjoyed dressing up as the three good fairies: Flora, Fauna, and Meriwether. Our favorite character was the blue fairy Meriwether, who plays the sarcastic, mischievous fairy who also casts the counter curse to Maleficent’s evil spell. In Tchaikovsky’s original, the blue fairy gives the gift of mischief, whereas the lilac fairy casts the counter curse and continues as the force of good throughout the rest of the story.

In middle school, I had the opportunity to perform part of the ballet in orchestra, which was incredibly challenging as it was my first time to play “serious” orchestral music. It certainly was not an easy debut, but it deepened my love for the tale and the epic music of the composer.

This mysterious fairy tale still captures the attention of audiences today, with Disney’s 2014 dark fantasy Maleficent and its upcoming sequel, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil set to release in October, 2019. However, I will always have an affinity for the original Disney classic that first helped me fall in love with the story.

TwoSet is Coming to Dallas!!

***ANNOUNCEMENT!!!***

TwoSet Violin Comedians are coming to Dallas March 18th at Irving Arts Center!

For classically trained violinists, the Australian duo TwoSet with Brett and Eddie is always a favorite. Their hilarious interpretations of various songs, pedagogical techniques, levels of music appreciation, etc. keep us laughing.

A few days ago I enjoyed seeing their serious side as they made a video involving a couple of one-armed violinists. In the video they show a lady playing absolutely beautifully with incredible tone, but surprisingly with a prosthetic arm. It is amazing to hear the smoothness of her bow changes in spite of her alternative method of playing. She looks so happy to have the opportunity to play.

TwoSet also shows a clip of a man playing using a stump arm, performing some of the hardest violin material ever written. They express their amazement at the extent to which people will go in order to keep their ability to play. It is worth asking, what is it that causes musicians to overcome great odds and challenges so that they can continue to play?

As TwoSet mentions in their post, some things can only be expressed through the musical medium. The violin incorporates both the left and right hemispheres of the brain, so it engages the analytical as well as the emotional parts of the brain. Classical music often follows specific forms, which resemble the hero path employed by authors when creating stories. In the Exposition, the hero sets off on a path to find new adventure. During the development he faces many obstacles that have to be overcome in order to win the prize. Lastly, in the Recapitulation, the hero returns to his place of origin, but he is forever changed by his experiences. When playing music, we are able to explore our own hero path and share our story with others. We can tell the story of overcoming hardship and beating the odds.

I agree with TwoSet that these musical geniuses in this video can inspire us to take advantage of the times when we can practice, and be grateful for every moment we get to play our instrument. For those of us who know what it is to have our instrument taken away from us for a time, due to injury or otherwise, we also experience the gift of music on a greater level when we get it back, because we don’t take it for granted.

Beginning Violin!

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We at Uptown Violins are passionate about teaching, and one of our joys is seeing the excitement on the faces of new students starting the instrument for the first time! It is wonderful to watch them discover a whole new world of music that they didn’t know before.

When we have particularly young students, we begin using a box violin, often consisting of a Gushers box with a ruler sticking out of it, and a dowel rod for a bow. This way the budding young player can get used to he feel of the instrument and how to hold it before raising the stakes with the “real deal.” (It’s easier to replace a broken box than a broken violin if it gets dropped a few times!) On the bow, we place a couple of corn pads to hold pinky and thumb in place. When they move to a real bow we like the bow buddy to help place fingers. I personally like to use the metaphor of a boat with four passengers and a shark to describe the placement of the bow hand. These include Pinky dancer (a bent pinky perched on top of the bow), 2 lazy men dangling their legs in the water for the middle finger and the ring finger, a scaredy cat who only dips his toes for pointer finger, and a scary shark with a fin to encourage the bent thumb. Kids love it, as it gives them a fun and concrete visual to help with a challenging bow grip.

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We also like to have students use a foot chart, or “stage” so they know where to place their feet while playing. This helps curb little ones from twisting into unusual stances, running off, or flopping on the floor.

Regarding music, students can delve into their Rhythm Train books right away, which gives them a sense of accomplishment. (See previous post about Rhythm Train.) They are able to clap rhythms that they will later learn to play on the violin.

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We also encourage our pupils to purchase the Suzuki Book 1 and CD, and to start listening to their CD as soon as possible in order to develop their ear. However, it takes several months before they can actually graduate from the first Suzuki piece, so we often supplement it with the book Songs for Little Players by Avsharian. These are easy songs that help beginning violinists master their new finger placement on the violin.

We hope you find these items useful, and we look forward to working with all of our new and continuing students!



Happy New Year!

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I can’t believe the New Year’s here,

It’s time for resolutions.

So here we’ll share a few of ours,

Read on through the conclusion!

 

Allison, with daughters five

Would like to keep performing,

Teach students to love music more,

And make a few recordings!

 

Ashley says she hopes to teach,

Her child the violin to play,

With lots of help from Grandma, too!

And write blogs each First Friday.

 

Sheree, the head of KC branch,

Would like to play new venues,

Our chief of social media,

She shares all Uptown’s fun news.

 

Our fearless leader Brittany,

Much music she arranges.

She’ll lead us in recordings, gigs,

We’d not make any changes!

 

Kerri’s New Years goal this year

Will empty out our cabinets,

She’s helping organize our songs

To read right off our tablets!

 

Christy, a college senior now,

Has one driving ambition.

Perform recital with great flare

To walk May graduation.

 

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We made some great memories last year,

And are ready for some new ones.

We hope you had a great year too,

And keep your resolutions!

Happy New Year from Uptown Violins!

Ashley Rescot, 2019

Dallas Showcase!

Forty-Five Ten (downtown location)

Forty-Five Ten (downtown location)

“I learned a lot I wouldn’t have learned roaming the streets of Dallas.” -Dennis Rodman 

Brittany Peterson, executive director of Uptown Violins and Dallas resident of 7 years, shares some of her experiences performing for a wide variety of venues in the Dallas metropolitan area.

Brittany, which venues have you performed for recently, and what did you enjoy most about them?

Republic Center, AD EX

Republic Center, AD EX

Recently we have performed for Arlington Hall at Lee Park, The Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, the Adolphus Hotel, Perkins Chapel on SMU's campus, the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, Hidden Pines Chapel, KPMG Plaza at Hall Arts Center, the Republic Center for the Architecture and Design Exchange, and First United Methodist Church downtown! Whew! (We have been busy!) We really enjoyed playing in the sculpture garden at KPMG's Plaza at Hall Arts Center because it was a beautiful night with a great crowd who loved both the classical and pop music! Arlington Hall is one of our absolute favorites to perform for because of the amazing facilities and staff who work there! The Architecture and Design Exchange opening was held at the corner of St. Paul and Pacific where the new downtown park will be opening soon as well! Lastly, we always love playing at both the Adolphus Hotel and the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek because of their gorgeous layouts as well as their dining options!

What Dallas venues do you think lend themselves well to weddings?

Hidden Pines Chapel

Hidden Pines Chapel

Arlington Hall at Lee Park is one of the best locations in Dallas for a wedding because of the beauty of the Hall as well as the surrounding gardens and park. It is located right off Turtle Creek and is very close to a number of beautiful hotels for your guests! The Arboretum is a classic outdoor choice for weddings because of its seasonal décor, including pumpkins in the fall, lights in the winter, tulips in the spring, and other beautiful flowers in the summer! Hidden Pines Chapel is also a fairly new beautiful venue which is perfect for large weddings, as well as convenient because the whole wedding can be held in one place, accommodating the large number of guests!

Can you share your recent experience playing for First Baptist Dallas?

First Baptist Dallas

First Baptist Dallas

It was so much fun to be able to fiddle "live" with First Baptist Dallas! They are such wonderful musicians and people! They always perform with a full choir and orchestra to accompany the soloists, so we all have a blast up there just worshipping! It was fun to play a little country at church, haha. (All Hail the Power)



Which Dallas venues will Uptown Violins be performing for this holiday season?

Adolphus Hotel

Adolphus Hotel

We are staying busy throughout the holiday season here in Dallas! We will be playing at the Adolphus Hotel for the Modern Luxury “Power Players” event, the Shops at Clearfork Holiday Teas where we will be accompanying dancers with Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite music, "A Night of Christmas" at First Dallas the weekend of the 14th-16th, Park Cities Presbyterian Church for their Candlelight Services on December 16th, Gateway Community Church the weekend before Christmas, and several other private performances! We cannot wait to play our new Christmas pieces from Sia's album, Lindsey Stirling's album, and the all time favorite "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)"! 

Adolphus Lounge where we perform

Adolphus Lounge where we perform

We hope you come to see us this season!

Wichita Showcase!

“There’s no place like home.” Dorothy in reference to Kansas, from The Wizard of Oz

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This past month Uptown Violins has loved playing several gigs in our hometown of Wichita, KS. On our mother Allison’s side, most of her family members are professional musicians or work in dentistry. Her grandfather George Scheer, father Harold Scheer, brother Brick Scheer, and now her nephew Brandon Scheer have all been dentists, with several other family members working alongside them at the office, including her sister Laurie Little and niece Casey Scheer (Brick’s daughter.)

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In September, Scheer Dentistry celebrated its 100th anniversary, and to commemorate the occasion they asked Uptown Violins to play for the reception. Allison (Scheer) Peterson performed, in addition to daughters Sheree Lutz and Brittany Peterson, nephew Darin Parker on drums, and family friend Terry Glanville on keyboard. I interviewed Allison about the experience to hear her thoughts on the event.

Ashley: What did you enjoy most about performing for your family’s special occasion?

Scheer Dentistry

Scheer Dentistry

Allison: What I enjoyed most about performing for the 100th year Celebration of Scheer Dentistry in Wichita was being able to honor the legacy of my dad who passed away about 3 years ago. He was such a Godly man who treated his patients so faithfully with excellent care. I was thrilled when my brother Brick asked my family to play. I wanted to honor him as well because, just as my dad and my grandfather before him, Brick is providing the community with fabulous dental care. I personally know from my own experience with Brick that he cares about his patients.

Ashley: Do you have any memories that stand out of your dad working as a dentist?

Allison: My favorite dental memory of my dad was when he and my mom handed out Halloween designed toothbrushes instead of candy to all the “trick or treaters” for Halloween.

It was very “fitting” for a dentist promoting good dental health. The kids really did love it, and probably the parents even more so!

Dr. Brick Scheer and Dr. Harold Scheer (Brick is also holding now Dr. Brandon Scheer)

Dr. Brick Scheer and Dr. Harold Scheer (Brick is also holding now Dr. Brandon Scheer)

Ashley: If your dad was alive today, what would he say regarding the continuation of both the family’s musical and dental heritage?

Allison: Honestly he probably would have made some kind of pun like 

"I’m glad to see you ‘put your money where your mouth is!’” He loved to tell jokes. My dad’s investment in dental school for Brick and all the musical training he provided for me were well worth his efforts. He and my mom sacrificed a lot for our education. All ten of my brothers, sisters and I have benefitted from Dad and Mom believing in us and giving us the opportunity to thrive. They did put their “money where their mouth is.” Brick, Laurie, Brandon, and Casey all work hard to keep this wonderful dental legacy going, and many of the others of us continue Mom’s musical legacy. So, I am sure he would say “continue to be excellent at what you do and give the credit to our Lord, Jesus Christ."


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In addition to the 100th year Celebration of Scheer Dentistry, Uptown Violins also enjoyed performing in Wichita at the Autumn and Art Festival, as well as the HopeNet gala. I decided to interview Sheree, our art historian in residence, about the former, and Brittany described her experience of the latter.

Ashley: Sheree, can you share with us the theme of the Autumn and Art Festival? What did it entail?

Sheree: The theme really is bringing many art forms to the public! Sometimes art is viewed as an esoteric field, but festivals like this help it come alive for everyone. At Autumn and Art, they have booths with glass, photographs, paintings, jewelry and much more. They have live entertainment as well, including dramatic performances and music. This is where Uptown Violins came in!

Ashley: What kind of music did you perform?

Art Booths at Autumn and Art

Art Booths at Autumn and Art

Sheree: We played upbeat party music to get the crowd going! We are excited about some new songs that blend classical violin concertos with pop and rock songs. This always seems to catch our audience by surprise. We love it because we get to showcase some violin virtuosity while also offering something most people recognize from the radio. Again, it brings art from the realm of esoteric the public.

Ashley: What stood out most to you about the event?

Sheree: I always enjoy when we get to perform with other Uptown musicians. Recently we have been collaborating frequently with our cousin Darin on drums and a good friend on keys. These instruments add dimension to our sound and let us experiment even more!


Terry, Darin, Brittany, and Sheree performing at Mark Arts

Terry, Darin, Brittany, and Sheree performing at Mark Arts

Interview with Brittany regarding the HopeNet gala

Ashley: Brittany, what is the mission of HopeNet?

Brittany: “HopeNet’s mission is to offer comprehensive and professional services aimed at restoring dignity and hope, based on Christ’s love for those experiencing crisis.” This event’s purpose was to raise funds for those who cannot afford these services on their own. 

Ashley: What musical selections did you choose to perform?

Brittany: We were asked to get the party started, so we played a lot of pop songs! 

Ashley: What did you most enjoy about playing for this event?

Brittany: We just loved performing and interacting with each other. As Sheree mentioned before, it has been so much fun to collaborate with our drummer and keyboardist. Our goal was to bring people in and enjoy the night, which I think they did!

In September we were thrilled to return to our hometown to perform for so many inspirational organizations! Next month we will take a look at some of the highlights taking place in Dallas for Uptown Violins! Please keep us in mind for the upcoming holiday season, whether you are looking to hear your traditional favorites, or need to get your holiday party rockin’!

Return to Me

“Will we never all be together again?”- from Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women

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Growing up in a family of all girls, we probably enjoyed more than our fair share of chick flicks in the Peterson household. We were swept away by the digital love story You’ve Got Mail (1999), starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, which we quoted incessantly, much to the chagrin of our parents and boyfriends. One summer while vacationing in New York we even insisted on visiting Café Lalo where Jo Fox first discovered Kathleen Kelly’s true identity.

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Another of our favorites was the Romantic Comedy Return to Me (2000) starring Minnie Driver and David Duchovny. We laughed at the hilarious old men’s club, hoping someday we could be as funny as them in our golden years. And of course we cried our eyes out when we discovered that the protagonist’s heart belonged to her boyfriend’s deceased wife.

As a family of sisters, we couldn’t help but love Louisa May Alcott’s epic Little Women depicted in the 1994 movie starring Winona Ryder (Jo March), Christian Bale as Laurie (pre-Batman.), a young Kirsten Dunst portraying the baby of the family (Amy March), Claire Danes (Beth March), Trini Alvarado (Meg March), and the forever talented Susan Sarandon as Marmee. Sheree and I always enjoyed pretending to be the oldest sisters Meg and Jo, although Brittany was less enthusiastic to play Beth, protesting that she never left the home and then died! Kerri and Christy fought over who should be Amy, as Kerri arguing that she was the 4th sister, but Christy claiming rights as the baby. Somehow we convinced little Christy that she could be the cat! And of course our Mom with all of her maternal wisdom really did mimic Mrs. March, only she vowed she never wanted to be called Marmee! Even now, I tear up as I watch the sisters move from their childhood home where they all lived happily together to try their wings in their separate domains: Meg as a mother of twins, Jo as a New York author, Amy as an artist in Paris, and Beth as the first to enter heaven.

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Like the March sisters, we have experienced the growing pains of leaving the nest, as we now live in three different states scattered throughout the Midwest. Fortunately, thanks to our music, we have all remained close at heart. We perform together frequently in duets, trios, and quartets, keeping the family music tradition alive which our own Mom passed on to us. However, it is not often that all six of us get together, so we were elated when Brittany proposed the idea of making this music video as a group. It was her drive and vision that brought us back together for this touching rendition of “Return to Me.”

For one glorious day we gathered in Dallas to put our quotidian lives on hold in order to spend time together as a family. The ambiance almost resembled a wedding, getting our hair and makeup done and dawning elegant gowns that certainly would have been the envy of the March sisters. As we crossed the threshold onto the rooftop of 400 N Ervay in downtown Dallas, the view nearly took our breath away. Spending the morning playing violin with our best friends in our best dresses with such a spectacular view truly was an out-of-this-world experience. We couldn’t help but feel a little like Hollywood stars, followed around by our photographer and videographer. Brittany could not have chosen a better song than “Return to Me” to capture the emotion of the moment.

All to soon we had to leave the rooftop and change back into our ordinary clothes, but we still enjoyed the rest of the day running around Dallas playing our violins, talking, laughing, and eating at our favorite local chocolate shop. None of us wanted the day to end, and we nearly cried as each of us had to go our separate ways at the end of the evening.

Fortunately, this video serves as a remembrance of that memorable day, and in watching it we hope our viewers can catch a glimpse of the family love that remains the driving force behind Uptown Violins.

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