If they think they can do something hard like that, they can do anything. —Stephen Oliverson
OREM — Weekdays at 5:30 a.m. at her home in Orem, 13-year-old Aubree Oliverson picks up her violin and begins to practice. A few minutes later, her younger siblings Andrew, 11, and Lily, 7, join in, each playing their own music.
It sounds like a symphony warming up, said their father Stephen. In a word, her mom, Jill, said, "cacophony."
The Oliverson household began to fill with violin music eight years ago when Stephen Oliverson, on a whim, bought the instrument for his oldest daughter.
"We got that violin in her hands," Oliverson said, "and her being able to express herself, compose music, blend sounds with me on the piano, it just opened up a whole new world."
She's won performance and composition competitions. She's played with the Utah Symphony and performed at Carnegie Hall and she's cut CDs and performed with her father, a pianist, under the name "Moon Light."
She solos May 15 with the Utah Symphony. She'll perform Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto No. 1 in D Major, one of the greater challenges in a violinist's repertoire.
In a recent Moon Light performance, Aubree demonstrated her violin virtuosity performing Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight of the Bumblebee," known for its frantic uninterrupted runs of sixteenth notes. She played about 13 notes a second.
"There are several times when the strings keep popping on the bow," Stephen said.
"I just like playing fast a lot," Aubree said. "Sometimes my teacher has to slow me down."Comment on this story
Aubree's success inspired Stephen Oliverson to buy violins for his son and younger daughter, and, three years ago, for dozens of other children.
Oliverson is the principal at Provost Elementary School in Provo. Now all fourth-graders there get violin lessons. In fifth and sixth grades they move on to flute and guitar. The idea is to teach kids more than music.
"To be able to get their hands on an instrument and learn what it takes, to make one pure note," Stephen Oliverson said. "If they think they can do something hard like that, they can do anything."
Even solo with the Utah Symphony.