Markham sisters perform driveway violin concerts for seniors
TORONTO -- These days, Ellie, Angelina and Tina Sievers say they are performing the violin in a slightly different setting than normal.
“We’ve been going around to people’s driveways to do performances during the quarantine,” Ellie Sievers told CTV News Toronto from her home in Markham. “It’s been a great way for us to share music with them and also it’s been a gift for us to be able to play in front of a live audience”
The Sievers sisters, ages 17, 14 and 11, are accomplished violinists. The two eldest sisters are members of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra.
“We’re visiting the members of our church who are either living alone or can’t go out,” explains Angelina Sievers. “It’s more personal because we know who we’re performing for, and because we’re closer to them.”
Since May, the girls have done dozens of driveway concerts, performing everything from Bach to Canada’s national anthem. They say the reaction from their audience has been very positive.
“They seem very happy. Some cried a little,” Ellie Sievers said.
One of the homes the sisters visited was that of Inge Mueller, who lives in a condo in Ajax.
“Their mother contacted me and said that they were interested in performing for me,” said Mueller, who attends Peace Lutheran Church in Pickering with the Sievers family. “We ended up having between 40 and 50 people, either watching from the ground or from their balconies.”
Mueller said the sisters performed one of her favourite songs, “Edelweiss.”
“I think it is just so generous of them to share talent,” she told CTV News Toronto. “To brighten up everybody’s lives a little bit, everyone who is stuck at home, especially we seniors.”
The Sievers say they recognize the healing power of music.
“I think it brings back lots of memories and it makes people happy,” Tina Sievers said.
“It’s not like a certain language where you have to understand,” adds Angelina Sievers. “It’s emotional and you can tell if someone’s happy.”
They hope to expand their driveway concert circles so that they can bring even more performances to more people.
“It is a difficult time and everyone’s going through a lot,” Ellie Sievers said. “So I think that’s a great way to get people together and spread love.”