published Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

Signal Mountain Strings ties music for all ages

Emily Crisman
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    Pediatricians Dr. Susan Stallings and Dr. Bob Wood share their talents on the cello by performing with the Signal Mountain Strings ensemble at Suntrust Bank. Photo by Emily Crisman

The Signal Mountain Strings combines young and old musicians to form a unique ensemble that helps each member advance on their instruments while entertaining the community.

Mostly composed of Don and Melinda Grohman’s students, Signal Mountain Strings includes both an adult and children’s ensemble which formed two years ago and practice separately each week.

“Strings are not a solitary instrument and they need someplace to play to give them an incentive to practice,” said Melinda Grohman. “They are all beginning students so it’s taken them a while to get in shape to perform,”

The group’s first performance was during the annual tree-lighting event at Erlanger hospital on Nov. 28 and the ensemble performed at Suntrust Dec. 17. She said the group will present a recital on the mountain this spring.

Students come from all over the Chattanooga area, from Signal Mountain to Ooltewah to East Ridge, said Melinda Grohman.

She said the multi-generational ensemble includes beginning violinist Lindsay Stallings and mother Susan Stallings, who took up the cello to play with her daughter.

Cellist Clair Robinson picked up the instrument two years ago at age 72 and said she’s having a great time with her new hobby.

“I admire someone that age that tries doing something different,” said Don Grohman.

“I’ve never done it before but I can read music,” said Robinson. “I told him I would have to hurry up and learn because I’m old!”

She said she just enjoys the sound of the instrument and decided to take lessons one day, but playing with the group makes it a lot more enjoyable.

“What makes it so much fun is it’s children and adults,” said Robinson.

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