Quartet La Dolce have many strings to their bow

La Dolce
La Dolce

STILL tasting great success with girl band Where’s George, drummer Millie Stokes is now tackling a different kettle of musical fish, performing alongside her friends in a new string quartet.

And La Dolce- which also includes Peter Keenan, Alex Prentice and Martha Stokes- are making quite a name for themselves, having played at numerous functions including a wedding at Dryburgh Abbey.

The foursome are long-time friends with a shared love for classical music and Millie told ‘The Guide’she was enjoying balancing the more intricate violin with her Where’s George drum kit.

“Playing the violin is a completely different experience to drumming,” she said.

“It’s a lot more technical and very intricate but it’s nice to have that contrast. When you’re drumming you just get into it and do your own thing whereas playing the violin requires a lot more thought; particularly in a quartet as we really have to listen to each other to make sure we come in at the right part and are in tune.

“Being in a rock band it’s a lot more about the people playing the music and their personalities but being in a string quartet it’s just about the music.

“You literally have to switch your brain to classical mode. As well as the sound, the posture and technique are completely different too.”

Like Millie, Alex, who plays first violin for La Dolce, is a pupil at Berwickshire High School and plays a lot in the Borders, performing both classical and folk music.

She is a pupil of well known local musician Lucy Cowan, a regular at local music courses, including Pro Corda at Edrom Casals.

With a family of keen musicians, it was almost inevitable that Alex would follow suit and she said she trys to get some practise in whenever she can.

“I’ve been playing piano since I was six and violin since I was in primary six,” she explained.

“I grew up with music around with me, with my mum and my grandparents playing instruments.

“It’s recommended that you practise violin for two hours a day and I try to do as much as I possibly can. I have three music lessons during school time and I sometimes play during lunch as well.”

Fellow La Dolce members Peter and Martha too have their fair share of musical credentials.

Peter is a member of Edinburgh Youth Orchestra and is headed for the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in September to study to be a Bachelor of Music while Martha plays for Christ College’s Orchestra whilst at university in Cambridge and is also known in the Borders for playing with The Moon, The Son & The Daughters.

La Dolce are awaiting a buskers’ licence so they can perform in Edinburgh during the Fringe Festival but until then are open to offers for anyone wanting them to perform at events.

They can be contaacted on 07966441776.