Students form wedding quartet

Alex Thome, Katie Beard, Emily Bragg and Autumn Renee along with Gloria Benz make up the Heartstring Quartet. (Photo courtesy of Nicholas Bushnell)

Ciara Benham

Staff Writer

cbenham@murraystate.edu

Five Murray State students have combined their talents to create a hobby and business that pulls on the heartstrings of brides and grooms across the region.

The Heartstrings Wedding Quartet is a group of string instrument players made up of students Katie Beard, Emily Bragg, Autumn Renee, Alex Thome and Gloria Benz. Including violin, viola, cello and bass, the quartet brings an array of talent everywhere they go.

Junior music education major Katie Beard founded the Heartstrings after her past experience playing for weddings.

“I had been in another wedding quartet and greatly enjoyed playing for the clients,” Beard said. “I created this quartet so that we can continue to add some magic to each of our client’s special day.”

Through the quartet, the musicians have gathered important life lessons. From what it takes to balance work and school to how to overcome and adapt, the Heartstrings have learned so much more than music together.

“The quartet has taught me how to be flexible. This is extremely important for being a teacher because we have to be super flexible,”Renee, senior elementary education major, said.

Renee is not the only member who hopes to transfer her newfound skills into the classroom.

“Being in the quartet has taught me to balance schedules and to coordinate,” Beard said. “This will be extremely helpful when I am later teaching in the school systems.”

The quartet isn’t only rewarding for the members because of the lessons they learn, but also because they genuinely enjoy what they do.

“My favorite part is spending time with the friends that I love to be with,” Benz said.

Every member of the quartet said they appreciated and valued working alongside their fellow musicians.

“I really enjoy getting the chance to work with the other members of the quartet, as they are all very musically talented and fun,” Beard said. “I also enjoy playing for the clients and seeing them enjoy the music.”

Although it’s difficult at times, the Heartstrings work diligently and rehearse often to provide the best performance for their clients.

“It’s definitely not easy at times, but we make sure we get at least two to three practices in a week,” Bragg said.

The quartet exhibits a great dedication to their work by committing to these practices, while also staying on top of their school work.

“I always put academics first,” Renee said. “ But, I love music enough that I can always make time for it!”