Miriam K. Smith

Since age 4, Miriam K. Smith has played the cello. On Oct. 13-14, Smith will perform at the Lynden Music Festival. (Courtesy photo)

LYNDEN — In her 14 years on this Earth, Miriam K. Smith has never been as far west as Lynden.

On Oct. 13 and again on Oct. 14, Miriam, a resident of Cincinnati, Ohio, will play her cello at this year’s Lynden Music Festival.

“The (Lynden) community seems so wonderful from what my dad has been telling me,” she said recently. “My friend Sandra and I will get to perform works we are recording later in October. I can’t wait to meet all these wonderful people and share music.”

Smith and her friend, pianist Sandra Wright Shen, will perform at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13 at WECU Expo Building at the Northwest Washington Fairgrounds, 1775 Front St.

The duo will perform Sergei Prokofiev’s “Sonata for Cello and Piano, op.119 Intermission,” Igor Stravinsky’s “Suite Italienne,” and “Nadia Boulanger’s “Three Pieces for Cello and Piano.”

Miriam accompanied her first orchestra at age 8.  She’s been playing the cello since she was 4.

“I remember getting this small 1/16 size cello and we put colored tape under the strings on the finger board so she’d know where to place her fingers,” Miriam’s father, Adam Smith, said. “Miriam has grown up in a musical home. Both my wife and I have conservatory background, and her older brother played violin at a high level growing up.”

‘Resonating with music’

Smith explained that Miriam’s performances have been few since the COVID-19 pandemic. However, she most recently played on Sept. 19 as featured soloist with the Youngstown Symphony in Ohio.

“The shutdowns from COVID have been tough on everyone, but especially our young people,” Smith said. “For Miriam, it was understandable, but hard to have many concerts either cancelled or deferred. Thankfully many are coming back now, but not all musical organizations are as progressive at getting back without restrictions such as the massive sporting events are.”

At 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 14, Miriam will perform a Celestial Cello Meditation at the Inn at Lynden, 100 5th St.

Miriam is also a pianist, having first picked up the instrument at age 2. However, she is “nowhere near at the level on piano” as she is on cello.

“I don’t think you’ll be hearing me play a piano concerto, but piano certainly complements my music,” she said. “I feel called to the cello, to be a concert soloist, and to do chamber music, and record, and be able to share my music with the world. Classical music builds such a powerful connection with all people, I think we were made to resonate together with music.”

From classical to Led Zeppelin

Growing up, Lynden resident Denise Smith listened to a wide variety of music.

“My Granny Smith and my father were the biggest inspiration,” said Smith, part of the local group Marc Urban Cowboy and D-Nice. “My dad introduced me to all types of music. From classical to Led Zeppelin.”

Smith said it was her Christian background that first inspired her to pursue music.

“Out of high school I was in a Christian rock band, up until I had my first child,” she said. “I got back into music five years ago and met Marc Urban on the Fourth of July over two years ago at Overflow Taps in Lynden. He was in charge of setting up the musicians at the block party. We started talking about music and I mentioned I sing harmony. He invited me to come out the next weekend to the Razz Fest where he was performing. I sang a couple songs with him, and we have been singing together ever since.”

Marc Urban Cowboy and D-Nice will play at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 15 at Rustlers Front Street Grill, 405 Front St. Also playing is Zack Beimold.

Learn more about the Lynden Music Festival at lyndenmusicfestival.com.