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OKC's The Stringents rock out with classical instruments

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While artists such as Elvis Costello and Sting recently have dabbled in classical music, four classically trained Oklahoma City musicians have joined forces to form what they call a "rock string quartet."
 
The brainchild of longtime friends Sarah Wilhite and Jenn Mills, The Stringents came to life in 2006 and quickly began winning over local music fans with an unconventional sound fusing traditional rock songs with not-so-traditional instrumentation.
 
UNIQUE SOUND
The recipe is simple:
" two parts violin,
" one part cello,
" one part viola, and
" one part imagination,
" blended vigorously until any preconceived notions about string quartets performing Led Zeppelin's song catalogue have been whisked away.
 
"Music is all about exploring and that's really what we are doing with this project," said Mills, a University of Central Oklahoma graduate. "We may be playing cover songs, but we don't sound like anyone else."
 
NEW DIRECTION
Wilhite and cellist Mills are joined by violinists Gena Alexander and Rebecca Oathout. The four have played classically together on and off for more than a decade, but have gravitated more to their new genre over the past 12 months.
 
"We are constantly trying to come up with new ideas to make it exciting and different. I think we have more fun doing this than playing in a classical setting," said Mills. "Jay C. Upchurch

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