October 2022 Student Highlight
From the age of three, Sydnee Hinrichsen began to pester her parents about getting a violin. "My favorite babysitter played the violin and I wanted to be just like her," Hinrichsen said. However, her parents were not easily swayed to buy their young daughter such an expensive instrument.
Three-year-old Hinrichsen continued begging for a violin, her parents gave her a toy violin for Christmas that played Vivaldi's Four Seasons when she put the bow on the plastic strings. The pretend violin only lasted a matter of weeks because Hinrichsen played it incessantly. This final act and more begging convinced her parents to get her a real violin at four and a half.
Hinrichsen has been playing for 20 years now. "It was not a phase," she joked. Hinrichsen's most recent violin accomplishment, The Bach Project consisted of 31 violinists who all have ties to BYU.
She had seen the idea on Elizabeth Faidley's Instagram. Faidley is a professor at the Manhattan School of Music, a violinist that Hinrichsen greatly admires.
Hinrichsen said that many friends expressed interest and her BYU violin professor, Monte Belknap encouraged her to take on the project. She said that she finally realized that if this was going to happen that she had to take charge and make it happen. Of the 31 violinists that performed, Hinrichsen said she reached out to about 70 people total. "I really had to reach out to every contact I had, even people I had not talked to in a long time," Hinrichsen said.
Hinrichsen said she learned her circle is bigger than she thought. When the performance came and all the violinists gathered, she said there was a beautiful sense of community and camaraderie. During the rehearsal process, Hinrichsen said she thought heavily about the advice Belknap gave her to just get 1% better each time. Hinrichsen said she focused on having more mindful practice and that it was okay to focus on just one measure at a time. This careful practice was important as Hinrichsen had the most difficult movement. 14 minutes long and memorized. Although there were difficulties leading up to the performance Hinrichsen said that everything just fell into place. She said that there was definitely divine help in getting everything to go just right.
Hinrichsen's advice to anyone who might want to take on a large project is, "Why wait? Someone's gotta do it so it might as well be you."