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The Soulstice Strings Quartet is comprised of members, from left, Lauren Sternberg, Chris Retallack, Johnene McDonald, and newest member Tor Murphy on viola. The quartet will play Quincy’s Words & Music at Patti’s Thunder Café on Thursday, Dec. 13. Photo submitted

Celebrate the season at Quincy’s Words & Music with Soulstice Strings

The December Words & Music will feature a performance by Soulstice Strings led by local music instructor Johnene McDonald. The program will be eclectic with the group performing a variety of music from modern to classics to Celtic fiddling.

Words & Music takes place Thursday, Dec. 13, at Patti’s Thunder Café, 557 Lawrence St. in Quincy, starting at 7 p.m.

Soulstice Strings is a reunion of a String Quartet originally named the String Beings formed when members Holly Sternberg, Kelsey Kepple and Chris Retallack were fifth- and sixth-graders at Quincy Elementary School. At the time, they were playing in Face the Music Studio’s Elementary String Orchestra named Pulling Strings. 

McDonald explains, “These young musicians were the only three children that ever practiced in the whole group and were getting very bored and ready to quit the ensemble.” To keep them in the orchestra, McDonald promised that if they would keep playing in the group until summer break, she would start a string quartet just for them.

The Soulstice Strings came into being a few winters ago around the time of the solstice. It came about that Kepple had moved back to Quincy temporarily. McDonald asked the musicians if they wanted to regroup while Kelsey was back in town. Thus, the quartet re-bonded with the name to commemorate the Winter Solstice.

The Quartet is now comprised of members Lauren Sternberg, Chris Retallack, Johnene McDonald with newest member Tor Murphy on viola. Murphy joined after Kepple moved to South Dakota last January.

Words & Music is a program of Plumas Arts, featuring acoustic performances of music and the spoken word. Doors open at 6:45 p.m., with the featured artist starting at 7 p.m. The show ends at 9 p.m. Beverages are available for sale. Sign up at the door before 7 p.m. for an Open Mic spot following the featured artist. There is a $3 admission.

For more information about this or any of the many programs sponsored by Plumas Arts, call 283-3402 or visit www.plumasarts.org.

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