Bemidji sisters to be among soloists at concert Tuesday
Sisters Sadie and Sarah Hamrin of Bemidji have been playing stringed instruments for a combined eight years.
Now, the 7-year-old and 10-year-old girls are preparing the solos they will perform at the "Couples Night III: Music for the Baroque-en Heart" concert Tuesday in Bemidji.
The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Main Theatre of Bemidji State University's Bangsberg Fine Arts Complex. Admission is free.
"It's our annual Valentine's concert of the Bemidji Youth Symphony and Bemidji Symphony Orchestra," said Beverly Everett, who directs both ensembles. "We're featuring lots of Baroque music."
The annual Messiah Sing-A-Long also will be part of the concert. The event, originally scheduled for December, was postponed due to weather.
At the concert, Sadie, 7, will perform Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor by Johann Sebastian Bach, and Sarah, 10, will perform the fourth movement of Georg Philipp Telemann's viola concerto.
"I like performing a lot," said Sarah, a charter member of the Bemidji Youth Symphony, which was formed three years ago. "I started playing violin when I was 6 and I switched to viola in late March of 2007."
"I started (playing violin) when I was 3 and took lessons when I was 4," said Sadie, who is in her second year with the Bemidji Youth Symphony.
Both girls, who are the daughters of John and Ramae Hamrin, are private students of Michelle Laliberte, violin and viola instructor at Headwaters School of Music & the Arts. Laliberte said the girls often arrive for their lessons with pieces of music learned and memorized before she has even assigned them.
"They memorize as fast as they play," she said. "And Sarah -- her switch to the viola gets me every time."
She said most viola pieces have a different note system than violin pieces.
"The hardest thing is to switch clefs," she said. "And she does it with no problem."
Sarah said she enjoys the viola.
"I like the deepness and richness of the lower strings," she said.
Meanwhile, Sadie said she likes everything about the violin.
"She loves to play fast," Laliberte said. "She's a true violinist."
And, she said, Sarah is a true violist, keeping the instrument's sound rich and mellow.
Everett, who has accompanied the girls on the piano in past performances, said she wanted to feature them because she was very familiar with their work and knew their talent. She noted that playing a solo with an orchestra is one of the most exciting things a musician can do, but it can also be one of the scariest.
"It takes a lot of musical maturity to do that," Everett said.
She said most people don't get that opportunity until high school or college. Sarah and Sadie, however, already have the kind of musical maturity to play their concertos successfully, she said.
Three BSU vocal majors, Brittany Messer, Sara Wabrowetz and Cory Froehlich, will be soloists during the Messiah Sing-A-Long portion of the concert.
Also, four other soloists will perform during the Baroque half of the concert. They are Andy Cresap, a trumpet major at BSU; oboist Gretchen Rusch of Bemidji; Julie Bengtson, a member of BSU's music faculty; and Laliberte.
"They're all soloists on one piece," said Everett, noting that the four musicians will perform their solos in Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 2.