You Practice On The Days You Eat

Practice is making perfect for a quartet of talented Oahu teens, who will be featured performers on National Public Radio’s ‘From The Top’ to be heard here Saturday morning

Friday - February 03, 2006
By Chad Pata
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Laura Jean Keller
Laura Jean Keller

ber orchestra.

But stepping out on the big stage and playing to more than 250 radio stations nationwide is simply a matter of mindset, according to Kathryn.

“I’m not comparing myself to others or concerned about them judging me,” says Kathryn, whose age is only given away by her nervous twirling of her hair. “Instead, I concern myself with what I want to say to the audience.”

The audience received the message loud and clear as both Zoë and Kathryn performed error-free to a crowd Zoë described as “amazing and warm.”

Kathryn Schulmeister
Kathryn Schulmeister

One young star Maui did not get to enjoy was the amazing Laura Keller. She is the one returning star to the show. Last year she performed a violin solo with the show’s host Chris O’Riley accompanying her on piano.

The most accomplished of the four, Laura serves as the concertmaster of the Punahou Strings, where Zoë and Kathryn both play. She has played in concerts from Seattle to Cleveland and performed her first solo with the Honolulu Symphony at age 11.

Her folks started her on violin lesson at 3, an age where most kids cannot handle the strings on their shoes, much less a violin. They paired her with a symphony musician, who gave her a strict practice regimen.

“Miss Higa taught me that you practice on the days you eat,” says Laura, who is also a member of the Vaught Quartet. “As a result, I have probably missed only five or so days of practice in 14 years.”

Her plans after graduating from Punahou may be worth noting as a perfect compromise for Zoë and her mother: She plans to attend university while simultaneously studying music performance at a conservatory.

But no matter what they go on to do, this Saturday morning the nation will have a chance to hear the brilliance of four kids from our Islands, and that is more than most of us could ever aspire to do.

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