After a year off because of the pandemic, the sounds of music will once again fill Pioneer Park in Billings this Sunday for Symphony in the Park.
Also making a return is violist Rosie Weiss. She was one of the first winners of the kid’s conductor contest at Symphony in the Park when she was eight years old. She is now beginning work on her master’s degree at the University of Miami.
“I remember preparing for it. I thought I'm going to nail this, so I was practicing with recordings in my two patterns super simple,” she recalls.
Out of a group of about 40 kids in the competition, Rosie was chosen as the winner.
Her music career was already off to a budding start at that point. Encouraged by her father, she began playing the violin at the age of three.
“My dad heard of this method called the Suzuki method and how it's great to start young kids on the violin and it's a great method, so he tucked that in the back of his mind. When I came along, he was looking into it by the time I was three and he freaked out because apparently, you're supposed to start kids when they are two. So. he was like, oh no it’s too late,” she laughs.
It wasn’t too late. Rosie quickly progressed with the violin. She was a founding member of the Billings Youth Orchestra at the age of nine. By the age of 12, she would become the youngest intern in Billings Symphony history and play for 10 years before eventually heading off to college on a full scholarship.
“It's an art form and people say, 'oh you're so talented,' but there's a lot of hard work that goes into it, too. I work really hard because I love playing for people. I love sharing my music with people, and that is what it's really all about,” she says.
She’ll be doing that again this Sunday at Symphony in the Park.
“The Symphony has just been so influential on my overall development from the early years of playing in the Symphony to coming back as a soloist and to having that experience to getting to do outreach programs at schools all over the place, so I really credit the Symphony for giving me the experience that I have today.”
Symphony in the Park gets underway at 4 p.m. Sunday with the Instrument Petting Zoo. Stillwater Strings takes the stage at 5 p.m. The kids conductor contest is scheduled for 6:45 p.m., and then the Billings Symphony Orchestra takes the stage for a free two-hour performance at 7 p.m.