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