Josie Davis, violin instructor – Envision, A Young People’s Chamber Music Workshop
Josie Davis began her musical studies at the age of six with Janet Ciano and Gilda Joffe. She received her undergraduate degrees in violin and sociology at Oberlin College and Conservatory where she was a student of David Bowlin. She has participated in various music festivals including the Bowdoin International Music Festival, New York University’s String Quartet Seminar, the Juilliard String Quartet Seminar, the Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival, and has appeared with her sister on NPR’s From the Top. Josie has performed in a wide-range of venues from Carnegie Hall to the Monte Music Festival in India. She is committed to using music as a way to connect with people of different cultures and backgrounds and has taught music to children in Panama and India. Josie is currently participating in a two-year fellowship program at Community MusicWorks in Rhode Island where she performs regularly and teaches a full studio of students. In addition to music, Josie enjoys sailing, hiking, cooking, pottery, and exploring the coast of Maine.
Sophie Davis, violin instructor – Envision, A Young People’s Chamber Music Workshop
Sophie Davis, from Waldoboro is in her fourth year at Oberlin College and Conservatory where she is pursuing degrees in violin performance and environmental studies. She currently studies with David Bowlin. Sophie has participated in the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival and the Kneisel Hall Young Artist Chamber Music Program, and in 2010, she appeared with her sister on NPR’s From the Top. She has performed in masterclasses for Christian Tetzlaff, Sunho Kim, Marc Johnson, and has collaborated with members of the St. Lawrence, Colorado, Vermeer, and Muir Quartets. In 2012, she spent several months studying tango violin in Buenos Aires, Argentina with violinist Fernando Suarez Paz, and in 2014, she spent a month teaching music with the Child’s Play India Foundation in Goa, India – an incredible and humbling experience.
The Davis Duo has also contributed their experience and learning to others … here is an experience in Portland:
The next afternoon, after a spectacular From the Top taping the night before, we visited the students on their turf to introduce them to two local violinists on the show — Josie and Sophie Davis (aka the Davis Duo) from Waldoboro, ME. The same students who attended the rehearsal, plus a few new members and staff gathered in an open room in the LearningWorks building to meet Sophie and Josie, hear some music and share their thoughts and questions about the whole experience.
After introducing themselves, Sophie and Josie opened with the lively first movement of the Bach Double Concerto (they performed the Largo on the show). The students were definitely impressed — one young man exclaimed “that was awesome!” When another student asked about how they’re able to read all of those notes, Sophie and Josie passed their music around, so that everyone could get a closer look. One of the young women noticed that the music looked really similar to her own flute scores — we found out there were several musicians in the group.
The students had tons of thoughtful, interesting questions, many of which really made the sisters stop and think. Sophie and Josie in turn were equally relaxed and open, sharing what it’s like to work together as siblings (hint- they can say exactly what they think), the challenges they’ve faced and how playing music just makes them feel happy and alive.
“This was perhaps the most rewarding concert I have played in a long time. The students were so engaged and asked questions and brought up points about music and the violin that I had never considered.” – Josie Davis
“Playing at Learning Works was an extremely amazing and rewarding experience. I learned so much about what music can mean to different people, and I was surprised and inspired by how much interest they showed in the violins and music. The questions they asked brought me a fresh, new perspective on the music… I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to play there (at Learning Works).” – Sophie Davis