Young Achiever: Naphisa and Sari share stage

  • In tune: violin sisters Naphisa Smith, left, and Sari Smith (Photograph by Sekou Hendrickson)

    In tune: violin sisters Naphisa Smith, left, and Sari Smith (Photograph by Sekou Hendrickson)


Two musical sisters will help ring in the holiday season with a performance at a Christmas concert this weekend.

Naphisa Smith, 18, and her sister, Sari, 15, will give their final joint violin performances for the year as part of the Bermuda School of Music’s Joy to the World Christmas Concert.

The musical duo, known as the Violin Sisters, said that they would be backed by an orchestra — an honour usually reserved for professional musicians — as well as give solo performances.

Naphisa explained: “Usually they get people who are older and a lot more experienced — they don’t usually get students to be the soloists.”

Sari added: “I’m really excited that they want to give us the opportunity to be soloists in this because in Bermuda you don’t really get a lot of chances to be a soloist in front of an orchestra.

“There’s no Broadway down the street or something where we have concerts every week. You don’t have that many opportunities to perform in Bermuda.”

The pair, from Pembroke, said that they had accompanied one another on stage for years before they started to busk on the streets of Hamilton.

They have also performed at weddings, music competitions and even the Premier’s Concert in 2018.

Naphisa said that she did the concert with another violinist last year, but that this would be the first time she ever shared the Joy to the World spotlight with her sister.

Sari added: “The trick to duets is knowing where to back down from the piece and let the other person come through.

“When we first start, we’re both pretty much playing the same thing, but then we just go off and play our own little melodies and we just interlock with each other.”

The two admitted that they could get competitive both onstage and in the practice room.

Naphisa said: “We love each other, but if she says that she can play a piece better than me we will have a contest for half an hour to see who can play it faster.”

She explained that music helped her to express herself without words and developed her self-confidence.

Naphisa said: “Over the years the amount of people that I can play in front of and not feel nervous has just grown.

“It’s transferred into my public-speaking skills — I couldn’t speak in front of three people before, but now I will volunteer to speak to a crowd.”

Sari added that her music lessons had taught her dedication and endurance.

She explained: “If you’d asked me about ten years ago if I’d be playing the Joy to the World Concert I would have said ‘absolutely not’ because I hated practising.

“But I know that if you just keep practicing then, eventually, you’ll find something to like about it.”

The Joy to the World Concert will be held on December 13 and 14 at 7.30pm at St John’s Church, St John’s Road, Pembroke.

Tickets are available at the Bermuda School of Music, Bermuda Bookstore, or at the door.

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Published Dec 9, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated Dec 9, 2019 at 7:21 am)

Young Achiever: Naphisa and Sari share stage

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