If you have attended Meeting of the Minds in the last few years, you’ve probably seen an animated violinist on stage with the likes of such Trop Rock talent as Peter Mayer, Scott Kirby and John Frinzi.
This beautiful and talented young woman is a wonderful addition to these fellows’ music, but Emily Randle is a super star in her own right. I had the great privilege of interviewing her last month and made a new friend in Emily.
I had no idea when we began to chat that Emily is active duty military, specifically Army. She beamed when she told me that she was about to be promoted to Master Sergeant. Why full-time Army? She enlisted to be a part of “Pershing’s Own” Army band, and played for most of her career with the band.
Since 2014, she works with the band, but in booking capacity rather than playing music. She has helped book such Army performing groups as the elite Herald Trumpets and also Buglers for Wreath Laying Ceremonies at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Washington, DC.
Speaking of the Herald Trumpets ensemble, Emily was a big factor in the music played at President Donald Trump’s inauguration. She is skilled at handling last minute musical inclusions or exclusions and helped determine which memorized fanfare to repeat when former Vice-President Dick Cheney showed up unexpectedly at the inauguration. Cool under pressure, she is!
And her musical background… I was impressed that she did her undergrad in music at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, but when she told me she earned her master’s at the Cincinnati Conservatory, of Music, I was in awe. That’s a fabulous music school and she majored in not only classical, but jazz violin. Wow!
So how did such an accomplished violinist come to the world of Trop Rock music? Emily actually was a substitute for the violinist in Peter Mayer’s “Stars and Promises” show back in 2001. She must have been impressive, because Peter contacted her to participate in the next year’s “Stars” tour.
Through Peter Mayer, Emily met Scott Kirby, when they played “Silent Night” together. It wasn’t long before Scott wanted her to play with him, also. He called her, sent her his CD and asked her to learn the songs. When she arrived in Key West to join Scott at Hog’s Breath for the first show, she realized that everything she had learned was 1/2 step off – yikes! Emily said with a big smile that she learned quickly how to adapt at the spur of the moment, thanks to Scott!
Emily seems to adapt to any Trop Rock artist. She played Laid Back Attack last year with many musicians, including Donny Brewer, Eric Stone and Rob Hill. “The spirit of Trop Rock music is great,” she told me, and thinks that Parrot Heads are the very best music supporters.
You can listen to Emily’s versatility on her recent release called “Girl of My Dreams.” Several of the selections feature Emily’s lovely vocals, in addition to her violin and the album consists of several different genres.
Recording a new CD of entirely instrumental music is next on Emily’s list and she looks forward to the day (after retirement from the Army) that she can play Trop Rock music full time. I look forward to the next time I see my new friend!