Sisters To Star In St. John’s Church Concert

December 7, 2019

Sisters Naphisa and Sari Smith will be the star violin soloists in this year’s Joy to the World Christmas Concert on December 13 and December 14 at St. John’s Church in Pembroke.

A spokesperson said, “The sisters will perform Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Violins in A Minor. The teenagers have honed their abilities over many years with the Bermuda School of Music. They started with the school at 4 years of age, first under Jennifer Sheridan [who has since left the island], and now under Dr. LaTannia Ellerbe [who will also be leading the Orchestra].

“They have performed with the Bermuda Youth Orchestra and the Bermuda Philharmonic, and they have appeared at the Premier’s Concert, the Bermuda Festival On-Stage Competition, Bermuda National Gallery: Music is Art Series, and Harbour Nights.

“The sisters come from a very musical family.”

Marjorie Pettit said, “It really does run in the family. While teaching music at Saltus many years ago, I taught the girls’ father Reynard Smith.”

Naphisa and Sari Smith Bermuda Dec 2019

The girls’ mother, Michelle Smith, said, “My husband was introduced to the violin by teachers in the Menuhin Foundation as a young child and went on to private lessons with Mrs. Rosalind Watlington. Mrs. Marjorie Pettit taught him music while he was in Saltus Junior School. He continued to play the violin throughout school, sat his Grade 8 music exams and played with the Bermuda Youth Orchestra.

“I guess you could say it runs in the family as Naphisa and Sari have three brothers who also play stringed instruments. The boys all play cello. I am the only one without a musical background, but I make sure that all five get to their lessons on time and that they remember to practice.

“I have homeschooled all of our children and music has been an important component in order to give them a balanced education. It has been a part of their life since they were 3 months old – starting with Kindermusic at the Bermuda School of Music. Naphisa and Sari both began to play the violin at age four and naturally dad wanted them to play the violin as that is the instrument that he played.

“However, dad learned the traditional method of reading music to learn the violin and the girls have been trained to play the violin based on the Suzuki Method – private lessons, group lessons, parent as the home teacher, listening and playing by ear and then learning to read music later.”

The spokesperson said, “Asked about their practice habits, their teacher Dr. Ellerbe said the two sisters each practice an hour or more a day with additional practices together several times a week.”

Dr. Ellerbe said, “I appreciate that they have maintained music as a top priority despite having many obligations: family, academics, sports, and of course, the obligatory social life. I cherish my time with the girls and I am honoured to have the opportunity to help them develop their talent. The featured solo, Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Violins in A Minor’ is a spirited display of technique and lyricism.

“The girls will perform the composition accompanied by an orchestra of professional musicians whom they very much admire. Marjorie Pettit has offered then an incredible opportunity and they are very grateful.”

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Comments (3)

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  1. OOOOooo…young women with BEAUTIFUL SKIN.
    Pursue your dream in life, passionately.

    • saud says:

      “OOOOooo…young women with BEAUTIFUL SKIN.”

      You’re creepy….no mention of their musical skills? Just gooning over their looks?

  2. David Skimmer says:

    The Violin Sisters are awesome. This is wonderful recognition of their accomplishments. They will also be opening for the group Red Priest in the 2020 Bermuda Festival.