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Sister Act

By Jesse Campbell (

Article Published: May. 22 | Modified: May. 26
Sister Act

From left, sisters Willa and Ledah Finck have been playing violin since the ages of 2 and 5. The two will perform Sunday, May 25, at Appalachian State University’s Broyhill Music Center.

Photo submitted

When most children were learning their ABCs and which square peg goes where, sisters Ledah and Willa Finck were learning complex arrangement movements and tunes in classical music.

Now college-aged, the Finck sisters have a repertoire of songs, recitals and performances behind them as they prepare for their careers as professional violinists.

Part of the joy that has come with the endless years of practicing and perfecting their technique has come while playing alongside each other in duets and recitals.

As their musical tastes and aspirations begin to take them in different directions professionally, they have learned to savor and enjoy those fleeting moments on stage together.

They will share at least one more of those special performances during a classical music recital at 4 p.m. Sunday, May 25, in the Recital Hall of the Broyhill Music Center at Appalachian State University.
Their father, David Finck, said his daughters began learning the Suzuki method of playing the violin as young as 2 and 5 years of age.

Most children are not paired with this demanding form until the age of 8 or 9, he said.

To break-up the monotony that classical music imposes on young violinists, David let his daughters dabble in the simple, yet soul enriching craft of cranking out folk tunes on the instrument, which became instantly transformed into a fiddle.

“Classical music is very rigorous, and you have to practice weeks just to master a tune,” David said. “The fiddle offers more gratification.”

The sisters gained local and regional recognition with fellow performer Maura Shawn Scanlin, as the Celtic trio, The Forget-Me-Nots.

However, neither sibling can decide which style of playing they prefer most, instead letting their hearts and creative streak lead their ears.

Willa, who recently celebrated her 18th birthday, said she enjoys playing Celtic and bluegrass tunes on the fiddle.

“The fiddle is much easier,” Willa said. “The technical aspect of playing is much easier. It’s not that many pages long, mostly 30-second tunes, as opposed to 30-minute concertos.”

Ledah has been playing since she was 5. She now has the ability to write her own compositions.

“I really have a lot of fun playing folk music,” Ledah said. “It’s easy to pick up, and you can do a lot with it. I also enjoy part of the whole culture and how it is community-based. Classical music is the opposite. It can be solitary, but because it is so meticulous, it can also be rewarding to spend a lot of time alone or playing with other people.”

Both sisters are planning for careers in classical musical after thoroughly studying performance while in college.

The Broyhill Music Center is located on Rivers Street on the campus of Appalachian State University.

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