WESTFIELD, NJ — At the district-wide fifth grade orchestra concert at Edison Intermediate School in December, the audience was dazzled when the young concert master took the spotlight and performed from memory an intricate violin solo by Vivaldi.
The violinist was Genevieve Duguid, 11, a student at McKinley Elementary School. She and her older sister Juliette Duguid, 13, an eighth grader at Edison, both study violin at The Juilliard School in New York City, traveling to the renowned school at Lincoln Center each Saturday morning.
“We have classes there,” said Genevieve. “We have a private lesson and chamber group. We do ear training and music theory.”
The girls are both dedicated musicians. Genevieve practices her violin each day for about 90 minutes, while Juliette, who also plays the viola, spends about two hours a day practicing.
On May 3, the girls will perform at Carnegie Hall as part of the InterSchool Orchestras of New York, which is comprised of seven youth orchestras and one band. Juliette is a member of the ISO Symphony, and Genevieve is a member of the Carnegie Hill Orchestra.
“This is the way we spend our time, in New York,” joked their mother, Elena Duguid, while sitting in the living room of the family home on Shadowlawn Drive with Juliette, Genevieve and her three younger daughters.
In addition, Genevieve travels into New York with her father, Ronald Duguid, a real estate investor who hails from Trinidad, after school on Mondays for orchestra rehearsal. Juliette has rehearsal in the city after school on Wednesdays.
Genevieve will also play in Westfield’s All City Orchestra this spring.
Elena Duguid learned piano as a child growing up near Moscow. She first introduced her two oldest daughters to the piano as young children.
Juliette, however, was captivated when she heard the violin.
“I just fell in love with it. I loved the way it sounded,” she said.
The family takes full advantage of Westfield’s proximity to New York City, exposing their daughters to a range of cultural activities there.
“We go to a lot of concerts, Met operas and ballets,” said Elena, who trained as an eye surgeon in Russia.
The girls say they like listening to wide variety of music. Juliette’s favorite composer to play is Max Bruch, and her favorite pop bands include Fifth Harmony and 5 Seconds of Summer. Genevieve’s favorite composer is Prokofiev.
“I’m appreciative of all the types of music,” Juliette said.
Outside of music, Genevieve and Juliette enjoy yoga and swimming at the Westfield Area YMCA. Juliette hopes to participate in track and field next year at Westfield High School.