Friday Harbor violinist plays her final concert with Island Sinfonia

  • Fri May 17th, 2019 1:30am
  • Life

Submitted by Island Sinfonia

The spring concert series by Island Sinfonia is upon us. On Sunday, May 19, Island Sinfonia will present their annual concert at 3 p.m. at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Friday Harbor. Admission is by donation, and students are always free.

This year’s program promises to be extra special and will feature flutists Linda Stone and Sarah Ogmundson in Quadro by Telemann, and cellist Jen Utter in Mozart’s Ronda Alla Turca. Other pieces include the “March for the Turkish Ceremony” by Lully; the second movement of “Rosamunde” by Schubert; Libertango by Piazzolla; and two pieces for brass ensemble.

This will be the last concert for Island Sinfonia’s only student musician Natalie Meenan who graduates from Friday Harbor High School in June. A violinist, Meenan has performed with Island Sinfonia for two years and has been concertmaster this year. In the fall she will attend Bates College in Maine and plans to study psychology and Mandarin Chinese.

“I look forward to continuing to grow as a musician. Bates has both a traditional orchestra and a string band that focuses primarily on fiddle music. Both sound like a lot of fun,” she said.

Meenan began playing violin in second grade while a student at Oregon Episcopal School in Portland, Oregon. “The elementary school had an excellent strings program, both lessons and an orchestra. Both my sister and I enrolled and developed a real love of making music.”

Moving to Friday Harbor in middle school posed a few musical challenges, however. “I’ve been taking lessons with Hanneke (Klein-Robbenhaar), who is fantastic, but there really wasn’t any venue at school for a teenager to play with a group. I tried the high school band one year, but a single violin doesn’t work very well with band instruments. I’m sure I was an interesting sight in the pep band at the football games,” she laughed.

Island Sinfonia is comprised of instrumentalists from Lopez, Orcas, Shaw and San Juan islands and is directed by conductor Jim Shaffer-Bauck. Island Sinfonia is open to all musicians, including students. Speak with any of the instrumentalists following the concert if you are interested in joining.