Revamped for Maddie
Mark Minnich and Sally WIlliams Minnich perform together.
The Bellwood community was invited for a lovely afternoon full of music that would benefit Maddie Shura and her family on Jauary 7, 2017 at 2:00 pm. Maddie Shura is a sweet girl loved by all who meet her - with strength and determination unlike any other - as she journeys through a fight with DIPG.
In case you missed it, the concert was conceived by Colleen Buckner, whose family is closely acquainted with the Shura family. Colleen's older of two daughters has taken violin lessons from Mark Minnich and the connections rolled into the plan of a concert. Both of the Revamped musicians, Mark Minnich and Sally Williams Minnich, have training in a classical music tradition but paired with the energy of pop music and their inventive ways they have taught themselves to play their instruments left all attendees smiling with delight at their creativity and energy.
Read on to hear more about this concert and to see photos from the event!
The coordinator of the event, Colleen Buckner, said, "So many were so instrumental (no pun intended) in the process of pulling off this event. I am especially thankful to Jendy Maines, Billie Jo Bardell, Theresa Garman, Robin Plubell, my Parents Bob and Deb O'Shell, Jessica Peacock, and all the many wonderful people who made baked goods and donation. Thankful to Photographic Memories for the masterful and beautiful pictures. Of course, the biggest thanks goes to Revamped. Mark Minnich and Sally Williams-Minnich for such a unique, amazingly talented, and even educational performance. They are salt of the earth and I hope that everyone was blessed. I know Maddie was thrilled and now wants to play violin. Lastly, I am so thankful to the Lord for the community in which we live."
On Being Married and Being Musicians Together:
I follow many husband and wife photographer combos and always revel that working together and being married must have difficulties but they seem to handle it so well. So, I asked Mark and Sally what it is like working together as a husband and wife- what are the fun parts and what are the complications? I also wondered if it had changed anything over the course of them being married and wondered if they would share any advice they had for those who work with their spouse. Here's what Mark said:
We love having as much time together as we do, since our careers are intrinsically connected, and there's never a shortage of things to talk about. We also fight more when arranging and practicing together than at any other time in our marriage- but I also think it creates an excellent model for how to argue well. As chamber musicians we've developed skills to work together towards a mutual goal without taking any criticisms too personally, and we never make arguments for the sake of hurting the other person- even when it's heated. I suspect that our working relationship actually led to our marriage, or at least that they were inseparable parts of one another early on- we got to know each other because of musical relationships, and our relationship grew from there.
If you're interested in checking out the album that Revamped has available, check here!
Music Education & Revamped Methods
Mark and Sally do more than perform! They also incorporate descriptions of when some of the music they performed would have been played in a historical setting. They work in information on the composers and laugh together while they do it all.
On their techniques, Mark said, "We like to use lots of extended techniques, sometimes of our own invention- for example, we play Joseph Kosma's "Autumn Leaves" (a jazz standard)- we use a technique called chopping in which you throw the bow down against the strings to make a crunching sound similar to a high hat, and combine that with left-hand pizzicato (plucking). While I (Mark) am doing those two things, Sally is playing double-stops to cover melody and harmony/countermelody. It's tricky to pull off, but it fills out the sound better than two violinists usually can."
Watch a video by Mark and Sally here!
Here you see one of their signature moves as a violin duo.
On the Meaning of this Event:
Mark and Sally shared that this event was intensely emotional and inspiring to the both of us- we didn't know Maddie before being asked to participate, but just hearing stories about her and getting to meet her after the concert made it clear just how sweet and strong she is!
I've (Ann) known the sweet Shura family since our children were in a two-year old day care program together. They are so easy to talk to and we were all fast friends. It has been pretty amazing to see how much the Bellwood community has done to show their love, support, and prayers for Maddie and her family. I was so blessed to be asked to be part of this particular event by providing photographs. They are so faithful to the Lord as they travel this difficult path. Please pray for their whole family!
Sweet Treats All Around:
Guests at the concert could purchase baked goods, hot dogs, and snacks as well as CDs from Mark and Sally. Many hands helped and faces smiled to come together and celebrate Maddie through music! Colleen Buckner thought of everything. She confessed that she woke up at 2:00 am the night before the concert realizing that no gluten-free desserts had been made. She got out of bed to be sure that the guests she knew were coming that had some allergies would be included too. She went back to to bed around 3:30 feeling a little more complete. :)
Colleen's Reflections on the Concert:
I think the event was lovely. I am so thankful to be from this community and have the opportunity for my daughters to go to Bellwood. Seeing Maddie have a great time is always a blessing. That child is more compassionate, stronger, and more loving than a lot of adults I've met in my life time. She has been an answer to our prayers for a special friend for McKinley not once, but twice. God chose Maddie as our special little friend for McKinley both when we sent her to Tipton Baptist preschool and when we moved back into the district last year. So, she holds a special place in the hearts of the Buckner family.
Maddie's Violin Debut:
After the concert, Kelly, Maddie's mom, shared that Maddie had recently been expressing interest in learning to play an instrument and the violin was one of her interests. After the concert, Mark arranged his violin for Maddie and helped her to play "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" for a first mini-concert!
Maddie's 7-year-old friend couldn't believe her skill in playing the violin for the first time! She said, "Mr Mark and Miss Sally were epic. Getting to see Maddie was really awesome. I miss her every day. She did better than any kids I know for her first try playing the violin. I'm pretty excited that we now share something else; a love for violin."