Teen musician plays in the moment

May 03, 2009|By DAVE McMILLION

SMITHSBURG -- Even when Karyme Grumbine is learning, she is composing.

The Smithsburg High School sophomore recalled when she started learning how to play the violin and how the instrument can make a screeching sound when someone is learning it.

Grumbine used the moment to write the song "The Window Washer."

In the song, Grumbine used the screeching sounds to imitate the sound of a squeegee passing over a pane of glass.

The 15-year-old Hagerstown youth started playing piano when she was 6 years old and became interested in the violin around sixth grade.


Grumbine now plays viola and last summer she became interested in the guitar, writing a song with the instrument within the first week of playing it.

"I just fiddle around with it and teach myself," Grumbine said during a recent interview at her school.

Now, Grumbine has composed her own piece for the high school's orchestra.

The composition, titled "The Beadle," was inspired by a character in the book "Night," which Grumbine read in English class.

The book is a memoir by Elie Wiesel based on his experience as a young Orthodox Jew being sent with his family to German concentration camps, said Evan Price, the school's orchestra director.

Grumbine said she used darker, minor notes in the song to convey the threat of the concentration camps and more uplifting major notes to help illustrate the happy lives of the Jews.

"The Beadle" will be performed at the group's spring concert on May 12 at the high school, Price said.

Price said in an e-mail that Grumbine is a "neat kid" who has other interests like being in the show choir and the drama club.

"Musically, the piece is very sophisticated," Price said of "The Beadle." "She wrote it completely on her own," he said, adding that Grumbine also designated which members of the orchestra would perform different parts.

Grumbine remains fascinated with music, listening to various styles and taking an interest in writing popular music.

Grumbine said math and science come easy to her. She also enjoys writing, an area she is considering parlaying into a career, along with possibly music.

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