As a little girl captivated by public television and the symphony concerts they’d air, Jen Rand quickly developed a keen desire to play the violin. She began formal classical violin training at the age of ten and quickly went on to play in the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra (MYSO) and win several state level solo and ensemble awards.
Though enjoying her time with Beethoven and Strauss, Jen’s biggest joy came when playing fiddle and bluegrass music with her dad. Around this time she added the mandolin to her arsenal of instruments – a campfire favorite! Shortly before starting high school, Jen taught herself to play the viola in order to join an award-winning string quartet. With the viola she found a new love and a sound she calls “the voice of (her) soul.”
Jen put music on a shelf for a few years while attending the University of MN for Theatre Arts. Her theater and acting career took center stage. When one of her college professors began preparing for a move to New Zealand, Jen gladly took a guitar off his hands for $50. After learning a few chords by covering songs like Elliott Smith’s 2:45am, Jen began writing her own songs as a way to learn the instrument while finding a new voice.
Theater and music began to collide when she teamed with former UMN Theatre Arts colleague Rhiannon Fisk to start Lingua Luna with Annie Jane Reierson. With Lingua Luna, Jen also picked-up the bass to round out her musical menagerie. Oh, and she sings too.
Want more about Jen? Visit her website here.