Artist of the Week: Sierra Farrar
Views 6 | Time to read: 3 minutes | Uploaded: 10 - 23 - 2018 | By: Lucy Petersen
Sierra Farrar is a senior at Westmont this year with a passion for playing the violin. Her dad started giving her cello lessons in her hometown of Littletown, Colorado when she was just three years old. However, Farrar quickly decided she loved the sound of the violin better. While she was starting to learn the cello, Farrar visited her dad at the music institute that he taught at and heard a violinist playing a piece called “The Hot Canary”. As soon as the violinist finished playing, she boldly stood up on her seat and yelled, in front of all her dad’s colleagues, “Daddy, I want to play the violin!”
While getting inspiration for new pieces to play, Farrar takes her teacher’s suggestions while also exploring other options. She loves to play romantic pieces that she hears at local concerts in town, at summer camps, or even pieces she hears in the music building played by Westmont students. Generally, Farrar enjoys chamber music- music where there is one member per musical part. Her favorite piece is the Tchaikovsky’s “Souvenir de Florence,” a sextet that is meant to represent daily life in Florence, Italy.
Although Farrar now loves to play violin, she used to hate practicing and “always thought [she] wanted to quit when [she] was in middle and high school.” However, she knew she never would quit, as music “permeated every part of [her] life” and was far too important to her to let go of. Farrar says that her violin is “like [her] child.” She describes the violin as having a mind-blowing range of emotions, from “brilliant and virtuosic” to melancholy, eerie melodies. The violin can be incredibly powerful in conveying the meaning of a symphony, as it can bring depth or brightness to an orchestral piece.
According to Farrar, a seasoned soloist, going onstage can “feel like you just walked into a room without any clothes on and everyone’s looking at you,” even for famous, seasoned musicians. She feels more secure the more she performs and describes dealing with stage fright as “more of a mental game than anything else.” Getting over one’s nerves and focusing instead on “just trying to play the music for the sake of the music” is the most important thing to consider in overcoming stage fright.
Farrar encourages anyone considering continuing playing instruments in college to “absolutely do it” if they have room in their schedules to further one’s musical capabilities in college. The hard work and time commitment is well worth the payoff, as Farrar says that she feels God in music in “those moments of pure ecstasy” where the audience is moved to tears and she feels that every minute she practiced was worth it. She hopes that more people will come to their performances and try to understand the orchestra members’ shared love of music.