by Sally Deskins | Les Femmes Folles
Cellist Megan Siebe will play with her band, Anniversaire, Saturday Feb. 25 alongside The Sleepover and All Young Girls Are Machine Guns at Slowdown (details below). She shares with Les Femmes Folles about going from playing her Fisher-Price Xylophone when she was young to playing in various ensembles in high school, adapting to various styles of music, feminism and more…
I grew up in Grand Island, Neb., until I moved to Omaha for college in 2007. I went to the University of Nebraska at Omaha to study music education. After graduating last May, I began substitute teaching in both the Millard and OPS districts. I’m glad to call Omaha my home.
How did you get into music?
I always took to music when I was young (what kid didn’t have the Fisher-Price xylophone piano?). But when my older sister began to play the violin, I started to see what music could be on a larger scale. I would love to go to her orchestra concerts to listen to the various instruments play. After hearing the cello, I immediately knew that was the instrument for me. In 5th grade, I began my music education with one of my favorite teachers, Christa Speed. She was a cellist as well, so I was fortunate that she saw my potential and pushed me to greater heights.
I always had a desire to learn various styles of music as well as numerous instruments. When I started middle school, I learned the bass guitar for our jazz band and also sang in our choir. I think that my music appreciation stems from being in all three branches of music at a young age. Not only was I growing as a cellist playing in the school and community youth orchestra, but I was also learning how to control my singing voice and gain stage presence while doing musicals as well as improvisation and chord structures in jazz band.
In high school, my love for music grew exponentially. I was given the opportunity to play in various ensembles and groups both inside and outside of school. During school, I played bass in the jazz band, percussion in the marching band and symphonic band, cello in the orchestra and musical pits, and singing in the chamber choir. Outside of school, I was fortunate enough to play cello with the Hastings Symphony and the community youth group, play bass and sing in our church band, as well as start several bands with my friends.
I consider myself lucky to have had a past so rich with music. Now that I have a degree in music education, I am so proud to be able to pass on my knowledge to future musicians as well.
Tell me about your style/inspirations
Because I was able to play so many styles of music growing up, I think my inspirations tend to branch out everywhere with anything. I try to listen to what’s going on around me to hear something new, whether it’s music or not. If something in a song stands out to me, I’ll break it down and figure out what that aspect is. This has really helped me out in adapting to various styles of music that Omaha has to offer.
Tell me about your upcoming performance and why it’s exciting to you.
It’s very exhilarating to be able to play with a group of people you love. It’s been a while since my band Anniversaire has played a show and we are all anticipating sharing the stage with some great bands. It should be a very enjoyable night.
What does feminism mean to you; does it play into your work?
I have never really thought too much about feminism. In all the bands I’ve played with, I have been the only woman, so I just got used to it. Currently, one group I play with has over 10 men plus me in it. It’s something that I’ve grown so accustom to that I sort of just become another one of the guys, which is fine by me.
On a larger scale, I think that women in the music business have to be strong in who they become and what they create. Music should stand on it’s own quality, not by how good it looks on stage.
Is Omaha a good place for women in the arts?
Omaha has been a great place for women in the arts, whether it’s music, theater, literature, artwork, photography, you name it. Everywhere I look I see great examples of this and I’m looking forward to seeing what is being created in the future.
Catch Megan and Anniversaire, The Sleepover and All Young Girls Are Machine Guns Sat. Feb. 25 at Slowdown, 729 N. 14th Street, starting at 8p.m. Tickets $7. Details here.
Fan Anniversaire on Facebook.