NEW: PATREON MEMBERSHIP!

NEW: PATREON MEMBERSHIP!

Hey there! SOPHIE IS NOW ON PATREON!
A note from Sophie:
This is new for me- in the 20 years I’ve been a professional performer and music creator, and the world has changed so much! Over time, the changes since I used to sell CDs for $30 each at shows, and now all performances are cancelled! I have however, been really touched by your support and engagement on social media, and I have enjoyed performing via live stream. The times are changing! Having a membership site is something I had considered, and now I’ve finally started! I’m really excited to start my Patreon Site. Please take at a look at my page and join my Patreon community for as little as $1 per month! Whether you’re signed up for $1 or hundreds, THANK YOU SO MUCH for supporting me. Check out the rewards listed on patreon.com/sophieplaysviolin and sign up!
Sophie Xo

 

Celebrating Christmas Classics Album Release with 12 Days of Christmas GIVEAWAYS!

Celebrating Christmas Classics Album Release with 12 Days of Christmas GIVEAWAYS!

You’re the best! It’s been another incredible year and I couldn’t have done it without you – my fans! From performing in Calgary at the Water Lantern Festival to filming at the Bonneville Salt Flats to capturing Unvanquished in Scotland. You’ve been with me with every journey, every song, and every step. What better way to give back than with 12 days of giveaways at Christmas?!

To show my love and gratitude of your support, #santasophie is launching an entire week of giveaways on Instagram! We’re kick starting the holiday spirit by giving away some amazing prizes to celebrate the launch of the festive season here, and the release of the new Christmas album!

Starting Wednesday, December 4th, follow me on Instagram – @sophieplaysviolin– and follow the contest instructions. We know you’re going to love the prizes we’ve got in store! From luxury accommodation at a Fairmont Hotel to a glam makeover to free music lessons for a year. We’ve got something for everyone. You can even win copies of my albums AND a performance for your special event! Check back on Instagram everyday starting December 4th for your chance to win some fabulous prizes – just in time for Christmas, celebrating the release of Christmas Classics , on December 3rd. One giveaway daily starting Wednesday, December 4th, right after my Christmas album Christmas Classics with @littleharpist is released on December 3rd!

Some of the companies that will be sending some Christmas joy to our winners:

Fairmont Palliser Hotel
Fairmont Royal York Hotel
VA Hill Violins
Maison Blu Makeup Artistry
Chinook School of Music
Noel Festival
Dr For Moms and more!

Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and safe Christmas – and here’s to a fabulous 2020!

Sophie xo

Photo by @Kerim_photography Location: @FairmontPalliser

*Entries for any of the 12 Days Giveaways can be done anytime between 10am on 4th December until midnight on Sunday 15th December. Winners will be announced at 10am EST on Monday 15th December.

New Christmas Album OUT December 3!

New Christmas Album OUT December 3!

You guys! It’s been SUCH a whirlwind few weeks. I’m so excited to share finally, a preview of a BRAND NEW CHRISTMAS ALBUM! Recorded with Toronto based Harpist Chantal Dube (known for her work with Drake) we recorded in two different cities (when I was 8 months pregnant and couldn’t travel!) to create this beautiful serene instrumental Christmas album with all your favourite Christmas Carols! Out NOW: https://music.apple.com/ca/album/christmas-classics/1544864440

Coming up, you may see Chantal with me on some of my appearances for this Christmas album- stay tuned! Here is an introduction to Chantal, and please check out her website and her amazing team of musicians out in Toronto! http://chantaldube.com/

*Photo of Chantal by https://fungke.com/

Chantal began her musical journey when she was just four years old under her mother’s expert tutelage. Her mother, who owned and operated a piano studio, remained a constant inspiration in Chantal’s life as she explored her passion for music and ultimately, the harp.

In 1992 Chantal attended the Royal Conservatory Summer School of Music at Ridley College, which was sponsored by the Niagara Symphony. Here she began her enduring relationship with the harp and she continued to take lessons with the Niagara Symphony’s Principal Harpist, Doris Scharing.
As Chantal advanced her harp-playing techniques, she initiated studies with the Principal Harpist from the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Suzanne Thomas.

In 2006 Chantal and violinist Cheryl Hodgson recorded a Christian album entitled “Unto His Name”, a collection of spiritual songs interwoven with some well known classical pieces. After many requests for a solo album, in 2008 Chantal recorded her third album entitled “Still Moments”, a collection of hymns that have helped her through her spiritual journeys. Chantal also recorded a solo harp Christmas album titled “Heavenly Peace” which debuted on 100 Huntley Street Dec 7, 2012. You can purchase her latest albums on iTunes or email her at info@chantaldube.com to purchase the CD.

Since 1996 Chantal has been sharing her musical prowess with others through performances at occasions such as weddings, banquets, funerals and cooperate events. Her repertoire is very current including songs from the Top 40 charts and consists of many genres of music to please the varied tastes of her audiences. Chantal performs for over 50 events a year, with her years of experience in the wedding industry she comes highly recommended by Toronto’s top wedding vendors and venues.

Most recently Chantal was contacted by Drake’s producers to record for Drake’s album VIEWS. She received credits for her work on Drake’s album VIEWS which was released in April 2016.  The harp can be heard on the tracks titled: Keep the Family Close, U With Me & Child’s Play.

In her spare time, Chantal enjoys volunteering at the Credit Valley Hospital playing in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for the premature babies. The harp has been scientifically proven to benefit preemies. This is a unique way that Chantal is able to give back to her community.

“Chantal’s harp music brings a wonderful calming effect. The music creates a soothing environment for the infants, moms, and dads. It gives family members a moment to pause in an environment that can be very stressful and make families very anxious.” ~ Nancy Frank Patient and Care Manager, NICU.

 

 

Shooting Unvanquished in Scotland

Shooting Unvanquished in Scotland

You guys!!

I just had the three most magical, and challenging days here in beautiful Scotland. I should always start to expect the unexpected, because I could never have guessed how this was going to go. I had in my mind, that we were going to film an epic music video…. And I think we did thanks to Ringtail Films… But the experience was so much more!

I landed in Glasgow and went to stay with family, which was awesome. Then on day two, we started filming early in the morning. We started at some famous forest areas (some of which were used in Outlander- I know some of you on social media have asked if it was from Highlander- did you mean Outlander?) and walked down to a waterfall right down in a deep crevice between some rocks called The Devil’s Pulpit. It was amazing to hear how my violin sounded down there on a large speaker! I had planned to host a Facebook Live session down there, but alas, terrible reception! I can see why it’s called the Devil’s Pulpit- you feel like you’re right down underneath the earth in a hidden place…. Hopefully we shone some musical light down there!

In Skye, I wanted to stay right out near the farms, however… we had trouble getting there! Google maps had trouble identifying the location and right out there, the reception was terrible, and…. There were no streetlights out there and it was quite dark by the time we arrived! Anyway, we found each other and all was well. The things you don’t expect! Well, at least, the things I didn’t expect. Once daylight arrived it was just breathtaking. It could have been a scene from 100 years ago. The rolling hills with the small houses and the farms, with very majestic and magnificent coastline everywhere, were just so dreamy! Check it out this picture of one of the very cute little houses and the scenery! Bonus- a double rainbow! It had been a LONG time since I saw a full rainbow let alone a full or double rainbow. It was very pretty, very mystical.

The little white houses with the grey slate roofs were just so cute and the local farmers provided a lot of the local restaurants with fresh bread and dairy, and the landscape like a scene from an old film.

My favorite location was definitely The Fairy Glen (this is a shot from the drone! Ringtail Films totally rocked it!)

Locals tell me that the Fairy Glen was simply the result of what they call a land slip, but that there is some legend floating around that it is home to fairies and magical happenings! It was a awe inspiring location and we found it just fascinating, and beautiful to film. I would have enjoyed being on top of the peaks much more if it hadn’t been so darn cold and windy though! There was the challenge: staying warm on top of very high peaks in the very cold wind. But we did it, and I can’t wait to share it with you!

The single Unvanquished will be out October 8th, and the video clip will follow soon after.

Sophie xo

 

 

My inspiration for Unvanquished

My inspiration for Unvanquished

Hey everyone!

So last year, I changed my stage name, which many of you know. Some of you guys still know me as Sophie Serafino and that’s cool, I used that name for a long time. In changing my name back to my maiden name – my birth name of Armstrong (Scottish), I became more interested in my family’s history… and have a bunch of info courtesy of Clan.com and Wikipedia and the Armstrong Clan Association: “The legends of clan Armstrong say that the earliest ancestor was Siward Beorn (‘sword warrior’), also known as Siward Digry (‘sword strong arm’). Another traditional story claims that an armour bearer by the name of Fairbairn rescued his master, the king of Scotland, mid battle by pulling him onto his horse by the thigh. Fairbairn was allegedly later given the name “Armstrong” and granted lands in the Borders. It was in this border region between Scotland and England that clan Armstrong became one of the most historically powerful clans in the country’s history. Between the 13th and 17th century the Scottish Borders were in turmoil, with anything between personal rivalries and all-out war common between the two countries. The Armstrongs were arguably the most dangerous clan during this period, with King James V of Scotland believing they were a threat to even his authority.” So basically, the Armstrongs were quite defiant and non cooperative (at least I know where I get that rebellious streak!) so ultimately the Crown forcibly dispersed the clan who were moved into and scattered across northern Ireland. My great grandfather later brought his family to Australia in 1881, with his Irish wife. I also have a Dutch grandmother and my mother’s family are British… It was pretty amazing digging up all these details!

This is the Armstrong Clan coat of arms and family crest (courtesy of kingarthur.com and thetreemaker.com). There are a few variations out there, some Scottish, some Irish. The motto is the same, “Invictus Manneo” which is Latin for “I remain unvanquished”. So there is the inspiration for my latest single! I had SO much fun exploring this while pregnant with our third little one, and I’m excited to share this journey in my language of music.

Got questions? Ask away!

Sophie xo