In concert: Zoe McTeer

  • Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Zoe McTeer has been playing the violin with the Summerville Community Orchestra for two years.

What do musicians Gladys Knight, Jack Johnson, Darius Rucker, Alicia Keys, Marvin Gaye, Felix Mendelssohn and John Coltrane have in common?

Zoe McTeer.

The Ashley Ridge High School senior, who just turned 18 years old this month, admits she has an eclectic interest in music for someone her age.

“We're all old souls in my family. I love old school music.”

McTeer has played the violin since she was 5 years old, and with a father who's fond of jazz and a mother who loves classical music, it's no wonder.

She wasn't fully committed to the instrument until the seventh grade though, she said, at which point her parents purchased a violin, the one McTeer plays today.

McTeer has been playing the violin in school all of her life, but as of her sophomore year, she has also played with the Summerville Community Orchestra.

“I learn every rehearsal,” she said. “I've grown a lot through the orchestra.”

McTeer said the most exciting part of her involvement with SCO has been the “exposure to professional music, which I don't get in school.”

She said her favorite performance with the orchestra was Beethoven's Symphony No. 4.

“It was so cool to hear all of the different parts. I have a deep respect for the brass, cellists and bassists because they're not in the spotlight all of the time, but they're driving the sound.”

McTeer said she would probably be playing the cello if the violin wasn't an option because of the “rich” sound.

She loves the violin, though, because it's “so noticeable. It's a very distinct instrument. You can make things come to life with the violin.”

McTeer named “versatility,” “creativity,” and being “completely hands on” as elements she has in common with her violin.

Others might also describe her as “busy.”

In addition to playing with the orchestra and at school, McTeer also plays at her church, New Ashley Baptist, travels to local elementary schools to teach students about the violin, volunteers with Dorchester Habitat for Humanity, and, after stopping a nine-year stint studying karate, plays with the Charleston Youth Lacrosse team.

“That's just the type of person I am, I have to stay busy and engaged. That's what keeps me grounded, keeps my focus on each task.”

Not to mention, in the midst of all of her activities, McTeer had to apply to colleges.

She will be attending the College of Charleston next fall, where she will be majoring in music and biology.

“I'm a science nerd. I like the human application. I want to become a physical therapist and then eventually become a music therapist.”

She's also thought about teaching violin lessons at college as a way to make some extra money.

“I love working with kids because they're so open to learning new things, and they learn so fast. I want to motivate children and teach them about the violin because that's what motivated me when I was starting.”

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