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We think it's about time you get to know us a little bit better. Each week, we're going to shine the spotlight on a randomly selected Bella girl and see what fun facts we can dig up and share with all of you!
This week, we're shining the light on... Rhea!
Where did you grow up? I grew up in Orange County, CA. California is my favorite place to be, I love the sunshine, the beach and it's laid back atmosphere. I hope to move back one day so I can raise my children there.
How and when did you decide to play the viola? I decided to play the viola in 8th grade after playing violin since 4th grade. I chose this instrument because of it's rarity in the music world which would possibly guarantee me more work. But the main reason I chose the viola is for the scholarship opportunities.
What do you enjoy most about performing? I enjoy the need to always be "on your toes" and to strive for perfection. I think that performing is what makes you a better musician because it forces you to be critical about yourself, which then forces you to practice in order to make the next show even better.
Do you have any pre-performance rituals? Practice, practice, practice. I tend to get very nervous when performing so I try to harness my nerves and find a calm place so I can focus on the music and having fun.
What is your favorite memory from a Bella gig? My favorite Bella gig memory is probably when I went to Miami for a gig. I love tropical weather and the ocean. It was such a fun gig and I also got to relax on the beach.
We get asked this question all the time. Well, for one, we don't play any Bond cover tunes. (Unless we have a very enthusiastic fan or client who makes a special request)! We set out to be strictly a rock quartet...ranging from classic rock to heavy metal....we just love to rock out. Our set list consists of custom arrangements of rock tunes written by Nina DiGregorio, the group's creator. Also, many of us are highly trained in the art of improvisation and soloing. Remember how the Yardbirds had 3 powerhouse soloists on guitar? And they turned into Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page....That's us. All powerhouse soloists. We don't hire guitar players to solo on our trax or albums, we do it ourselves. We all use custom effects pedals and are very conscious of our evolving tones, just as a guitar player would be.
We all have our own styles of soloing and like to implement our personalities into our set list and improvisations. Where will this take us? We are already working on some original music for the next album. This will be completely unique from any other Electric string group out there. Think Oz Noy for violins. We are all serious players and writers, and the original album will show that. We have no plans to abandon our rock cover tunes, as they are fun to play and write, we get to pay tribute to our favorite guitar players, and keep our fans and clients happy hearing music that they recognize.
So we hope to any potential fans or clients out there, this answers your question of what makes us different. Expect a band consisting of 4 girls who all have masters degrees in classical performance, who happen to be blessed with lots of curly blonde hair, pushing the boundaries of what a group of string players can do. Pretty much, the only thing we have in common with Bond, is the fact that we are a string quartet...but that would be like saying any 4 piece band is just like the Beatles...based on instrumentation. We are happy that Bond paved the way towards making stringed instruments mainstream, (and they certainly did)!! and we enjoy their performances very much...but Bella Electric Strings takes on a whole different genre and direction.
We hope to see all of you soon!
Excuse us while we go transcribe another ripping Hendrix solo...
Love, The Bella Girls XOXO
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