Baroque On BeaverClassical Music on Island Time



Marla Smith (2011)

Second Violin

What are your most important educational and musical moments?
I have a lot of musical moments, but one that stands out is when I got to play with Page and Plant (the band formed by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin) in concert in Detroit – pretty cool!  Additionally, I had a chamber music group that played concerts in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  I love playing with the Baroque on Beaver Festival Orchestra because of the camaraderie and work hard/play hard mentality.  Additionally, the teamwork is inspiring – not just with the music, but also with lodging.  We all pitch in to make the experience as enjoyable as possible. 

Tell us about your family.
My daughter, Nyssa, teaches the violin privately and at Detroit Country Day School, where she teaches violin to kindergarten through 2nd graders.  

Why did you choose music?
My mother and father were both musicians: my mom taught violin lessons and my dad was an orchestra teacher.  I started to play the violin at the age of 3.  As memory serves (or as rumor has it), all I wanted for Christmas was a violin, case, and bow.  My parents were very musically influential as my sister plays the cello in Houston and my brother plays the viola and teaches orchestra in a public school outside of Boston. 

Why did you choose your instrument?
I heard the violin in the house all the time because of my mom’s music lessons, so it was a natural fit.  Additionally, I taught myself how to play the piano.  I am a double graduate from the University of Michigan with both a Bachelor of Violin Performance and a Master of Violin Performance.

What else are you currently doing?
Currently, I freelance and teach private lessons to both children and adults.  I also work with violin and viola sections at two area high schools and teach chamber music at the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp Suzuki Family Camp.  Finally, I run Adventures in Chamber Music, a summer day camp for young string players, with my daughter and great pal Connie Markwick, who is also a member of Baroque on Beaver. 

Any non-musical interests or hobbies?
I love to go to our family cottage on Burt Lake in Indian River, Michigan, and watch the water and knit.  However, there isn’t much else that I do that doesn’t involve music.  I really enjoy running Adventures in Chamber Music with Connie and Nyssa.

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