Angela Baldwin was a ROOTS student even before it was called ROOTS. Her determination and dedication to her instrument inspires staff and students alike, which is exactly why we she’s a perfect fit as our student feature this month. Angela is not only an incredibly talented violinist, but she also plays several different instruments and styles. She has one of the biggest hearts of anyone we know, so we spent some time talking with her about what makes her tick: music, life and faith.
- How long have you been playing the violin?
- Nine years. I started in third grade, but I developed a love for it before that. When I was in about first grade, our backyard neighbors were having a birthday party for their 1-year-old. They had a bluegrass band playing, and my parents said that I sat and listened to the fiddle player for three hours, and then came inside and said ‘That’s what I want to do!”
- So, do you like to play bluegrass music?
- Yeah! I started out playing bluegrass and played for about five years. I switched over to classical because I realized I wanted to do it long-term. I still love to play bluegrass and other genres too!
- What impact has music had on your life as a whole?
- This is a loaded question! Music is just a part of who I am. Whenever life gets hard or something bad happens, music is always there as a way to express myself.
- How has ROOTS played into your love of music?
- ROOTS has allowed me to combine music with my faith. It’s allowed me the opportunity to see how that looks played out in my life and around others.
- What is the single most important thing that you feel you’ve learned from Kelly (your mentor)?
- I think the biggest thing that she has stressed to me has been humility. She reminds me to always remember that my talent is not something that comes from me, but God has given me this gift and helps me find ways to use it to His glory.
- Where do you hope music takes you long-term?
- I have a passion for the country of Haiti, and I just got back from a mission trip. I would love to be able to serve the special needs children in Haiti, and help them see who they are through music.
- Who are some musicians that you admire?
- Hillary Hahn and Tracy Silverman are two violinists that I admire. I also love Mumford and Sons (the older albums) and The Head and the Heart.
- What is your favorite type of music to play?
- Honestly, I love playing all types of music!
- How often do you practice?
- It kind of depends on the day and if I have events coming up. Preparing for college auditions, I would practice for about two hours per day. On a normal day, I usually practice about an hour.
- Do you have any quirky/funny habits when it comes to playing or practicing?
- A lot of times I’ll get tired of practicing classical, so I’ll just switch over to another genre and then switch back. I also love to play outside in my backyard!
- Do you play any other instruments?
- I play guitar, piano, ukulele, mandolin, bass and fiddle.
What Angela’s mentor, Kelly Aus, has to say about her:
“Angela Baldwin is Awesome. From Membership in the Williamson County Youth Orchestra to Governor’s School to being accepted into every conservatory program for which she auditioned, Angela has a list of accomplishments ten miles long! It is, however, her heart and her impact on people that is what makes Angela truly remarkable. She is a reminder to those around her – myself very much included – that music is less about achieving skill or greatness, and more about creating avenues to serve and speak to others, and to give them a voice also. She is going to do great things in this world, I have no doubt!”