HomeNewsFrom Memphis to Jackson, Anna Sharpe’s musical talents grace many stages

From Memphis to Jackson, Anna Sharpe’s musical talents grace many stages

By Sabrina Bates

Staff Writer

Madison Academic Magnet High School student Anna Sharpe has a love of music that spans 10 of her 15 years of life. The freshman is gifted in a variety of string-instrument melodies and is a member of the high school’s band.

Sharpe started playing violin at age 5. She switched to fiddle when she was about 10 years old. What’s the difference between a violin and fiddle? Her mom, Becky Roland, explained they are one in the same instrument; the difference is how the instrument is played.

Mom would know the difference as she has played the violin and fiddle her entire life. 

“ … there was really no question about whether or not my kids would play,” Roland shared.

Anna Sharpe (from left) is pictured with her Madison Academic Magnet High School band director Shelby Carver at Anna’s All West concert performance. Anna is a freshman at the school and plays the flute and oboe parts on her violin for the band. She is also a member of the school’s jazz band. (Photo submitted)

As part of Madison Academic’s band under the direction of Shelby Carver, Sharpe plays the flute and oboe parts on her violin. When she’s not at school or performing with her school band, Sharpe spends her time playing fiddle and rhythm guitar with her family’s band, The Doublestops. 

The Doublstops are made up of Roland and her two daughters, Anna and younger sister, Mary Sharpe. The group travels the region delighting audiences in nursing homes and at weddings. Many have seen them perform at Hub City Deli, Marshall’s Steakhouse, and Humboldt Coffee shop. They regularly play at Corinth Pickin on the Square in Mississippi with a show date set for March 28. On May 5, The Doublestops will take the stage at Cassie’s Cause Crawfish Boil in Savannah. The next month will see the family band heading to Olive Branch, Miss., for the Mississippi Moon Fest on June 10. They’ll perform at the Savannah Bluegrass Festival on July 6 and the Reelfoot Arts and Crafts Festival on Oct. 5.

This trio of fiddlers, The Doublestops, is made up of (from left) Mary Sharpe, Anna Sharpe and Becky Roland. The Doublestops perform all across West Tennessee and in northern Mississippi. (Photo submitted)

When Anna isn’t traveling with her family’s band, she picks up her fiddle and joins Memphis bluegrass band, Mulberry Jam, as well as the Memphis Youth Symphony. The family recently moved from Memphis to Jackson. It only took a short amount of time for Anna to be accepted into the West Tennessee School Bands and Orchestra Association’s All West Band after she placed fifth in her grade division among violinists. Her high scores landed her a spot in the Tennessee Music Association’s All State Orchestra, with a performance slated in Nashville in mid-April.

Magnet Academic also offers a jazz band for student musicians, which is described as one of Anna’s favorites because jazz band allows her to improvise. She is always looking to improve her musical skills and regularly takes online lessons from Chris Daring of Colorado.

Her favorite part of the school day is, of course, band. She hopes to pursue playing her string instruments throughout her college years and is hopeful to garner college scholarships through her musical talents. This musically-gifted freshman plans to major in Biology or Biochemistry in college to pursue a career in a lab as part of vaccine research. 

Becky and husband, Jesse Roland, have an additional reason to be proud, as Anna’s younger sister, Mary, is also musically-talented. Mary Sharpe is a sixth-grader at Northeast Middle School, where she is a member of the band and plays trumpet. Mary also plays violin as part of the Jackson Symphony Orchestra.

* Have a local student who deserves a spotlight? The Jackson Post wants to feature local youth. Whether it’s for community-service projects, academic achievements, clubs or other organizations, we want to hear from you. Send information and photos to Sabrina Bates at sabrina@richardsonmediagroup.net.

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