By Naomi Hatch
Kirsten Tenney, daughter of Mack and Kenani of Taylor, a very humble, but talented young lady, has loved the violin most of her life. Her mother played violin and she said, “I always wanted to be like my mom.”
Tenney started her music training on the piano at age 6 and began playing the violin in the school orchestra the summer before fifth grade. At age 13 she was taking violin lessons from Clarence Shaw, conductor of the White Mountain Symphony Orchestra.
She graduated from Snowflake High School and went on to Northern Arizona University, where her major was Violin Performance. While attending NAU, she taught violin in the NAU Preparatory School.
Tenney went on to the University of Utah, earning a master’s degree in Violin Performance. While attending the UofU, she held a graduate assistantship, teaching undergraduate students the violin.
She also teaches for the Utah Symphony Guild Outreach Program, does freelance performance work in the Salt Lake valley and is an associate instructor for violin at the UofU School of Music.
She is an alumnus of the Brevard Music Center, where she was involved in an intense orchestral training program, studied violin privately, and participated in chamber music during the summers of 2004-2007. In 2007, she attended the Starling-Delay Symposium on Violin Studies at the Juilliard School of Music, where she attended master classes given by Itzhak Perlman and other distinguished violinists.
Tenney is a member of the Orchestra at Temple Square, which rehearses on Thursdays and Sundays prior to Music and the Spoken Word unless they are working on something special, such as at Easter and Christmas when they appeared on a PBS show, then they rehearsed more.
The orchestra plays at assisted living centers and she has recorded with Mormon Tabernacle Choir and orchestra making several CD’s. She has also played background music for recordings of such things as the Bible videos, and does background recording for other people.
Tenney has gone on two tours with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, one to Virginia, Washington D.C., Philadelphia and Toronto, and one to several cities in the Midwest.
“I love playing in the orchestra,” she said noting that a highlight is being with her brother Preston, who sings in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
“I just love it. I get a lot of satisfaction playing,” said Tenney. “It’s lots of work, lots of lessons, but so satisfying,” she said. “Playing makes me feel like I’m soaring.
“It’s definitely a part of who I am and how I express myself.”
Tenney said that she is amazed she’s in the Orchestra at Temple Square, noting, “I’m just this girl from a little town (Taylor). How did I get here?”