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