March 7, 2021
Gracie Grossman, 16, began playing the violin when she was 12. But with a father who played guitar and a great-grandfather who had played the fiddle, Grossman decided a year into those lessons that she’d keep the instrument but change how she played it.
“Making the change meant that I could play with my dad which has been really cool,” she said. “[Playing fiddle] made it more fun than the violin. We play a lot of bluegrass. My mom picked up the bass, and now we have a bluegrass band, the Rust Belt Drifters.”
After she left her violin lessons, she found a couple more teachers, Becky Buller and Deanie Richardson, who have influenced her greatly. Richardson even provided her with a high profile gig, one of Grossman’s fondest memories.
“Deanie had a student showcase at the Station Inn in Nashville, Tennessee,” Grossman said. “It’s a hub for bluegrass music, and I was so nervous. But once I got on stage, it was so much fun to play with my teacher. I take my lessons on Skype, and she lives in Tennessee, so that was the first time I’d met her in person.”
Grossman also hosts a radio show, Deep Roots Radio on the Lime City Radio Network, in Huntington and hopes to maintain work in radio and performance in the future. One dream would have her returning to Tennessee again one day.
“I would love to play professionally, and Eastern Tennessee State has a program in old time music. So I would love to study that.”
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