It’s not often one would associate classical instruments with the music of Coldplay, ABBA and Queen, but The String Family is all about doing things differently.
The Wollongong quartet, comprised of Sarah and Joel Moir, and their children Heath and Ashleigh, hit the road in February last year, and have since brought their modern take on classical tunes to festivals and concerts around the country.
Childhood sweethearts Sarah and Joel met at the age of 10 and have been playing together ever since. Heath, 14, and Ashleigh, 12, have learnt music since they could walk.
After taking out awards at the Australian National Busking Championships in 2015 and 2016, The String Family will come to Narooma for the first time to headline the 2017 Championships, coinciding with the River of Art festival.
For The String Family matriarch, Sarah Moir, it was the 2015 event that inspired the quartet’s dream to pack their lives, violins and cellos into a caravan and set off around Australia.
“That was the start of the dream coming true. We took out a lot of awards at the championship and that gave us the confidence to do the Australian trip,” Sarah said.
“We bought a caravan, moved out of our house and sold and gave away most of our possessions.”
With all of the family classically trained, Sarah said it was exciting to make the genre more mainstream by giving it a rock or pop twist.
“I was doing classical music until I was in my twenties. I joined the String Angels, an electric violinists group, which made me realise the general public really like it,” Sarah said.
“People say ‘I thought I never liked the violin, but now I do’. People just love it. That’s sort of the aim.”
For those still uncertain about classical music, Sarah has called on the doubters to give the genre a go.
“We’ve got something for everyone,” she said.
“I tell people not to be put off by classical music. Often we have people say they have never seen anything like us before.”
The String Family will perform at Narooma Sporting and Services Club on Friday, May 26 at 8.30pm and at various times and locations for the Australian National Busking Championships.