July 11, 2008 at 2:27 AM
I always love it when my sister Elizabeth comes home to visit. She was here this past week for my brother's wedding, after which she left for a music festival in Germany. Now that she's in graduate school in NY, I miss her more than ever. I've learned and shared so much with her, and look up to her more than anyone, I think. Seven years older than I, she was my violin teacher for several years, and despite my occasional pre-teen grumbling, I loved it. She has always been a bit more adventurous than I, so I've learned a lot from her experiences in the academic and professional music world. She's the first person I go to for advice on just about anything. :)
Now and then I have fun musing on the oddly coincidental number of musical experiences we've both had. It's not surprising that I would go on to do a lot of the camps/competitions that she did before me. It's funny though, just how much we do have in common, down to little details:
~ We both studied with or had master classes with Carolyn Sandquist, Ben Sayevich, Brian Lewis, and Paul Kantor
~ We both went to the Sunflower Music Festival, where we ended up playing the same part (violin II) in the same work (Brahms piano quintet) coached by the same teacher (Mark Tanner)
~ Both of us played in the Topeka Youth Orchestra as associate concertmaster
~ My sister and I won the strings division of the same concerto competition playing the same concerto (Mendelssohn)
~ Both of us have studied at the University of Kansas
~ We both have taught violin lessons at the same music store (I even teach 3 of her former students)
~ Both of us played in the KS State Fiddling Competition
And the list could go on, haha. :) And yet, we have our differences too, of course. Being 7 years older, my sister Elizabeth has much more experience than I, and has performed everywhere from Taos to Tanglewood to Carnegie Hall. I look up to her a lot. After undergraduate, she switched to viola, and has almost completed her doctorate. It's funny how alike we still sound though. When we played violin duets for my brother's wedding this weekend, and it was so easy to match each other's style. I've even had people tell me they knew I was related to Elizabeth just from the way I played. I'm so grateful for all we share — as musicians, as friends, as sisters. I can't imagine my life without her. :)
My brother is 5 years younger than I and doesn't play an instrument but is a wonderful singer. He sang at my wedding and I played the violin at his.
But then I realise they'd probably eat all the cookies and steal my hair conditioner so maybe not!
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