Guest Blog Series : Q + A with Anastasia and Rose of The Musical Mountaineers
Updated: Mar 6, 2019
Are you looking for live music for your event or wedding? What about your mountain elopement? There is something so special about live music that speaks to your soul, can bring tears to your eyes and really move you in the moment - like watching your first sunset as a married couple from your favorite mountaintop serenaded by a violin and piano. This is where The Musical Mountaineers come in! These two women combine their love and talents to create and provide a unique service as The Musical Mountaineers. Their mission is to bring something beautiful and good into the world.
We want to welcome Anastasia and Rose to our Guest Blog Series where we asked them questions on a variety of topics including how they started The Musical Mountaineers and what goes into these musical adventures. Let's dive right in our Q + A with Anastasia + Rose, owners of The Musical Mountaineers.
Q. Anastasia and Rose, thank you so much for being our guests on today’s blog! We absolutely LOVE seeing your posts on social media and listening to snippets of your music in such beautiful places!! Was there a specific moment or inspiration that led you to begin bringing your violin and piano into the mountains and begin your journey as the Musical Mountaineers? Tells us that story.
A. Ann Marie and Adam, thank you for giving us an opportunity to share our story on your blog! Prior to starting the Musical Mountaineers, we were leading very parallel lives that were destined to cross. Anastasia was struggling with finding fulfillment and purpose in her life (at the time she was working as a railroad police officer). She experienced a very nearly fatal car accident which was the catalyst for making the decision to pursue an adventure inspired life.
Since her childhood and through a piano degree in college, Rose dreamed of playing her piano music in the wilderness. Through a serendipitous series of events, we met and discovered that we shared a mutual dream of bringing our music to the backcountry. With no intent of ever becoming the Musical Mountaineers, we set off for our first concert on September 1, 2017.
Q. Have you both always been musicians? Share a glimpse of your background with us.
A. Anastasia: I began violin lessons at the age of 4 and continued taking lessons through college. I was the concertmaster of orchestra in college and a member of a semi-professional symphony when I graduated. From age 12-24, I volunteered at Hopewell Furnace National Historic site and played my violin as part of my role as a historic interpreter.
Rose: I began taking official piano lessons at the age of 7 and continued to pursue a vocation in music through a degree in Piano Pedagogy. I loved to learn music and teach music from a very young age.
In our youth, both of us won concerto competitions and performed Vivaldi and Haydn concertos with an orchestra.
"As we scrambled up the boulders leading to Hidden Lake Peaks, the sun fragmented into yellow beams across the valley. It felt as if the mountain itself had been waiting it’s entire life for that moment. We set up our instruments on smooth, granite slabs and tears filled our eyes as we began to play.
Our first notes combined with the mountain air to create something more than we could have ever created on our own. The chill in the air gave life to our music, but didn’t freeze our hands. That October sunrise stands out as one of the most memorable." --Anastasia + Rose
Q. There is no doubt that you both find absolute joy in what you do. It is so evident in your
faces on everything you post and we love that! Can you describe for us what specifically brings you joy in doing what you do.
A. Anastasia: “Being in the moment and allowing any fears or doubts in my life to dissolve and melt away brings me intense joy. When I am in the wilderness, I am seeing who I am in the way that I was meant to be seen.”
Rose: “My experiences in the mountains have required me to process and allow discomfort in my life both on and off the trail. Identifying these fears and pressing into discomfort in the wilderness has given me the opportunity to embrace the full experience of life.
Playing my piano on a rugged summit in the North Cascades gives me so much joy because it’s a place I feel alive in every sense of the word. I feel the wind against my skin, I feel the ground beneath my feet, I hear my notes dance with the cold mountain air, and I know that despite my fears I can press forward and create something beautiful in the chaos.”
Q. As The Musical Mountaineers, you both have had a chance to meet so many people and perform in so many different places. Share with us one of your favorite experiences. Why do they stand out in your mind?
A. As we scrambled up the boulders leading to Hidden Lake Peaks, the sun fragmented into yellow beams across the valley. It felt as if the mountain itself had been waiting it’s entire life for that moment. We set up our instruments on smooth, granite slabs and tears filled our eyes as we began to play. Our first notes combined with the mountain air to create something more than we could have ever created on our own. The chill in the air gave life to our music, but didn’t freeze our hands. That October sunrise stands out as one of the most memorable.
Q. I can imagine it is a bit challenging carrying your instruments to some of these
mountain locations and that there is a lot of prep behind the scenes that goes into making this all possible. What are some aspects of the Musical Mountaineers that we might not realize is a necessary part of making this all possible?
A. Behind the scenes, we both are active athletes in training for these mountain adventures. Anastasia is a Wilderness First Responder and Rose is certified in Wilderness First Aid. We actively prepare for these adventures in choosing locations where we will have minimal impact.
For example, can we set up on a durable surface? Is there a campground nearby? Can we arrive at this summit by sunrise to play before other hikers arrive? These are just a few
questions we ask ourselves.
Q. When I see your work and creations, I honestly do not think of The Musical
Mountaineers as a business. However, I imagine this has become your business and your life, correct? The phrase, ‘Do what you love and you never have to work a day in your life,’ comes to mind. Share with us your thoughts on this concept and if it applies to your lives.
A. The Musical Mountaineers have been paid for several collaborative projects and our music downloads on Patreon, and we both pursue individual careers as entrepreneurs.
Anastasia founded Kula Cloth, a gear company that manufactures an antimicrobial pee-cloth for women. Rose teaches 40 piano students from her home studio and accompanies local voice studios in performances and competitions!
Q. In addition to playing in beautiful places without an audience, you both have much experience playing for an audience and at events. What is something that you love about playing for an audience or at events?
A. It brings us so much joy to meet people who love our music! Whether it’s in person or online, we value hearing from people who have been touched by our music. Their stories of healing motivate us to keep climbing for the greater good!
Q. As Elopement Photographers, we are often out hiking with our couples to beautiful
locations and love it. We would love to one day work with you as well for an Elopement. Have you had a chance to perform at many elopements or similar events held out in the mountains or other beautiful locations? Share with us a specific experience.
A. Anastasia has performed at several adventure elopements from Mount Rainier, to Rattlesnake Ledge, to Leavenworth. Her favorite thing about it is bringing music to an event that would otherwise not have any music! What she’s experienced is that both the photographers and couple say that having music enhanced the emotions and intensity of the memories.
Q. Any Wedding or Elopement Experiences that you loved and wish to share?
A. Anastasia: I’ve experienced so many incredible memories while bringing my music to intimate adventure elopements. Three memories stand out vividly in my mind.
At a Mt. Rainier wedding, I loaned my microspikes to the bride and I played music while the newlywed couple shared their first dance on the snow as the colors of sunrise danced on the mountain behind us.
At another adventure elopement, I arrived at Rattlesnake Ledge in a complete downpour, which definitely isn’t ideal for playing a violin made of wood. About 5 minutes before the bridal party arrived, the rain stopped and the clouds parted and the guests arrived to discover me performing on the ledge. The guests had no idea that I was going to be there, so it was a really special moment.
A final memory that stands out for me was at a winter wedding in the Leavenworth Area on the shore of the Wenatchee River. The officiant of the ceremony read a poem about soaring with eagles, and as he finished the poem, a massive bald eagle glided across the river behind the wedding party. I don’t think that anybody who was there that day will ever forget that moment.
Q. What is a location that you have not played at yet but would love to?
A. Canyonlands National Park in Utah!
Q. What’s on the horizon for The Musical Mountaineers? Any projects or new services for
people to check out? And what is the best way for someone interested in your talents to reach you?
A. We’re excited to continue this adventure of bringing our music to the wilderness at sunrise in the coming year. Our concerts are weather dependent so we are a bit spontaneous in the winter months. We will be featured by several journalists and in a film festival in the coming months! If you’d like to hear more of our music, see our YouTube page!
You can also find The Musical Mountaineers on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/themusicalmountaineers/
Myrtle Creative Co. is a traveling wife + husband photography team who specializing in vibrant photography for the adventurous at heart. Contact us for your love and adventure!