Electric Violin
Born in Underhill, VT

Born in Vermont and received classical training and degrees in violin performance from Boston University (Bachelor degree) and Philadelphia College of the Performing Arts (Masters degree). Orchestral jobs include the New Mexico Symphony, the Santa Fe Symphony and Glimmerglass Opera in Cooperstown, NY., the Virginia Symphony and Virginia Opera and is a founding member of the Harbor String Quartet. She had a post-undergraduate residency at Walt Disney World All American College Orchestra where performances included work with film composers such as Morton Stevens and Johnny Green to The Captain and Tenille and Richard Carpenter. Allegra is a frequent performer with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and with artists such as Josh Groban, Rod Stewart, Smokey Robinson and Sarah Brightman. Allegra is also a first-call musician for touring Broadway shows.

Allegra's non-classical pursuits are quite recent. Jazz studies with John Toomey, former pianist with Maynard Ferguson and the Mark O'Connor's fiddle seminars in San Diego working with such players as Natalie MacMaster, Darol Anger, Matt Glaser, Paul Anastasio and Mark Wood.

What equipment/instruments do you use?
"I play a 5 string custom Viper Electric Violin made by Mark Wood. The violin is connected wirelessly (using the Shure SLX system) to a Line-6 HD500 Pod. As with all of Mark Wood's Vipers, the instrument is strapped around the player rather than held under the chin. This allows freedom of movement. The fingerboard has inlaid frets that are not raised or tactile but are visual only. "

"I also have a 5 stringed handmade Skyinbow (pronounced Skee-in-boh) made in Scotland that I use mainly on the Music of The Who show. It's an excellent instrument, very easy to play as it is of a more traditional shape and design. The electronics are located near the chin rest. It's active transducer system is charged by a 9Volt battery that is connected at the base of the instrument for a very short period. The 90- 120 second charge will keep the transducer powered for a full 2 and 1/2 hour show."

"For the Led Zeppelin IV show I also play an MK Mandolin with active Fishman electronics built in."

"My acoustic violin is an 1886 Nestor Audinot, from France. I pair it with another Dublay bow, also made in France. "

Who are some of your musical influences:
"Hmmm....violinist Pinchas Zuckerman when I was a child. When I became older, I was inspired by my friends and colleagues whom I worked with, many who are outstanding performers and conductors. In particular conductor Stewart Robertson of Glimmerglass Opera in NY and violinist Debra Fong in San Francisco, CA.

Tell us about "Windborne Music's" shows and how they impact you:
"I enjoy the Led Zeppelin shows because of the marriage between the symphony orchestra and the rock band. The classically trained electric violinist is the key to the idea of a "rock symphony": classical orchestral players meeting classic rock music. The electric violin is also becoming a more integral and prominent instrument in rock music today. The Dave Matthews Band is an example of the violin being used in a melodic dimension, like the guitar."

"The Music of the Who lends itself easily to an electric violin. One of the most famous tunes from the band, Baba O'Reily, incorporates an extended violin solo at the end of the song. Along with this tune, Love Reign O'er Me and Squeezebox, the violin is used extensively, easily slipping into acoustic, rock and bluegrass/ country for each tune."

"Crossover styles of violin playing extends my vocabulary as a musician. It's like being able to speak in several languages, not just one. To play only one style, one kind of music limits my own way of communicating to the audience the energy and passion that each style holds. As a trained classical violinist, I have the technique and skills that allow me to move into each alternative genre freely. I regard each genre as important as another, each needing it's own skill or understanding of the music in their special way."

What's on your IPod?:
"My IPod contains music of Breaking Benjamin, Shine Down, Saving Abel, Alter Bridge, Virginia Coalition, Rascal Flatts, Three Doors Down as well as film scores from John Williams, Michael Kamen and Bruce Broughton."

To visit Allegra's Web Site click here.