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Check Out Emily Bowman’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Emily Bowman.

Hi Emily, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
Born and raised in St. Louis, MO, I began learning the violin using the Suzuki Method at the age of 3. I began my studies with Rose Martin at what is now known as the Community School of Webster. I also attended St. Margaret of Scotland School in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, MO where I started a Suzuki Violin Program in 2013. The program initially began with only 27 students and grew to over 140 students, ranging in ages 3-14. I also enjoyed teaching General Music to Middle School Students in 6th-8th grades where the focus changed to learning about Music History, Music Theory, and performance on instruments including keyboards, glockenspiels, hand bells, and guitars.

As of June 2020, I opened my own private violin studio and music group for events – Beau Son Strings. The name ‘Beau Son’ means Beautiful Sounds in French and is in remembrance of our son, Beau, who passed in late 2019.

I attended Nerinx Hall High School in Webster Groves, MO while studying with Manuel Ramos – a first violinist in the St. Louis Symphony before retiring. While in high school, I started providing music for weddings and performed with the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra under the direction of David Amado and Scott Parkman.

After high school, I continued my violin education and received my BM from the University of Missouri-St. Louis under the guidance of the Arianna String Quartet, John McGrosso, and David Gillham. I then went on to receive my MM from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville under the guidance of Dr. Lenora-Marya Anop and received my Suzuki Teaching Certification for Violin Volumes 1-10 from Vera McCoy-Sulentic.

I currently perform around the St. Louis area with prestigious groups including the Bach Society of St. Louis, Salem-St. Louis Chamber Orchestra, Metropolitan Orchestra of St. Louis, Winter Opera Orchestra, Gateway Festival Orchestra, Landolfi Quartet, and Modde Music. While I am classically trained, I also play/perform other genres of music including Musicals, Pop, Rock, Country, Indie, and Liturgical music. I also love being able to improv with a group of musicians where I can really let my creativity soar.

I’ve had the great opportunity to perform with famous musicians/groups including Black Eyed Peas, New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Christine Brewer, Josh Groban, Michael W. Smith, and Amy Grant.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
With any music career it takes lots of time, dedication, practice, and patience. I am very grateful that my parents had me start with music/violin lessons at such a young age so I would be able to cultivate my skills over multiple decades. There were many times when I felt I needed a break or wanted to quit altogether. It definitely is a love/hate relationship with your instrument sometimes. But I always came back to music. It kept calling me back and I am glad for those breaks I took over the years too. It helped me grow personally and as a musician.

Another huge obstacle and challenge was COVID. When the Pandemic hit all concerts, performances, weddings, etc. were canceled. They have slowly started coming back this year but with the pandemic, loss of our son, and loss of my creative outlet my world was turned upside down. Not only did we lose a major source of income, I also lost my way of being.

Luckily I was still able to provide music lessons to students through online lessons which helped feed my creative outlet and it allowed me to help others express themselves through music. I loved that I was able to teach from home and teach students all over the US even having a student in Hawaii.

During the Pandemic, I also found another passion – clean and sustainable living. Since we are all home much more often, I was so excited to be able to reduce the number of toxins in our home and live better. Becoming a Norwex Consultant has also allowed me to help others do the same. Clean living and reducing the number of toxins has really become important to me after having lost a child, having a child with severe food allergies & eczema, and being pregnant with our third.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I love performing around the St. Louis area – from chamber orchestras to duos to quartets. My favorite is providing music for weddings and other special events. I love being able to be a part of a couple’s special day. Plus the venue always changes so my “office” is always changing.

At the age of 10, I began playing weekly services at St. Margaret of Scotland Church in the Shaw neighborhood. I found my love of providing music during liturgies while playing with the church choir under the direction of Peter Hesed and Terri Merideth. Terri Merideth was my elementary school music teacher and Peter Hesed is an amazing musician and composer that taught me a lot about improvisation.

With my music background and knowledge of Catholic Services, I am often called to play many church services – weddings, funerals, and other events. With my improvisation skills, I am able to provide music that will never be the same at 2 events – making music at each event unique and special.

I’ve also had the great opportunity to perform with famous musicians/groups including Black Eyed Peas, New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Christine Brewer, Josh Groban, Michael W. Smith, and Amy Grant.

Alright, so to wrap up, is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
When not performing I love spending time with my family, watching/attending Cardinals games, and working & growing my other business as a Norwex Consultant.

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