A blend of violin, viola and cello, the Washington, D.C.-based trio The String Queens also blend together their careers, as educators by day and concert performers by night.
The ensemble will bring its signature sound to the University of Mary Washington’s Dodd Auditorium in George Washington Hall on Friday, Dec. 1, at 7:30 p.m. The concert is free and open to the community. Registration is required.
Praised for their authentic, soulful and orchestral sound, The String Queens pride themselves on bridging the gap between classical music and other styles, like R&B, hip-hop and pop, turning hits by such giants as Aretha Franklin and The Beatles into orchestral masterpieces. And the teachers credit some of their eclectic flair to their students, who’ve introduced them to music they might not have otherwise known existed.
The group – Kendall Isadore on violin, Dawn Johnson on viola and Élise Sharp on cello – creates musical experiences designed to inspire diverse audiences to love, hope, feel and imagine. With a repertoire spanning from the Baroque era to the Jazz Age to today’s Billboard Hot 100 Chart, they take listeners on a journey through time and musical genres.
Though their careers are constantly evolving, at one time the women were all orchestra directors for Knowledge is Power Program charter schools in the Washington, D.C., area: Johnson at Key Academy, Isadore at Valor Academy and Sharp at Northeast Academy.
They formed The String Queens in 2017, débuting at New York’s Carnegie Hall. Career highlights to date include performances in a promotional campaign for Wimbledon and at the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
The group’s third album, Rise, released last year, includes songs like Billie Jean, (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman and Stand By Me/I’ll Be Missing You.
The trio will present a Master Class for Educators called “Supporting Students With Music Education” on Saturday, Dec. 2, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at UMW’s Stafford Campus. Sessions will focus on four areas, including social and emotional learning in the music classroom, a trauma-informed centered music classroom, arts integration best practices and finding your balance as an educator and performer.
The master class costs $75 but may be available at no cost for local public school teachers. Contact Director of Continuing and Professional Programs Teresa Segelken with questions. For more information and to register, visit the performance event page on UMW’s Continuing and Professional Studies website.
The String Queens performance and Master Class for Educators at UMW is made possible by a collaboration between Mary Washington’s Department of Music, Continuing and Professional Studies, and College of Education.