Twin classical musicians who graduated from Wilson High School are making their mark on the music world.
Viola player Harper Randolph is on a mission to make classical music cool.
“Kindly keep it interesting and bring the classic instruments in quotes into a different stage than they’ve traditionally been in,” she said.
If she ever needs inspiration, she doesn’t have to look far. Her twin brother, Cole, is a professional cellist.
“When we were in lockdown and everyone was trying to find a way to connect, music is that universal language,” he said.
They have both spoken the language since growing up in Bloomingdale’s in northwest DC, the children of a music composition professor at Howard University. Their brother and sister also play instruments, which made for some interesting moments as people walked past the house.
“They would see four little dark-haired children playing string instruments and be like, What?” said Cole Randolph. “Like they saw a unicorn or something.”
“There was definitely healthy competition,” he said. “If I heard that my brother could play something better than me, that would motivate me to get out my cello and practice.”
This practice has certainly paid off. Cole Randolph is a member of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Harper Randolph studies music at the University of Michigan. She recently entered the Sphinx National Competition for Musicians of Color, winning third prize and $10,000.
“It was a big achievement for me,” she said. “I think all the hard work and everything pays off, and I learned so much about myself.”
As they move forward in their musical journeys, they also hope to give back.
“You just have to find ways to inspire the younger generation, to inspire kids of color,” Harper Randolph said.
“The main thing is to be a role model for them, to tell them: Look, if I can do it, it’s certainly not too late for you to do it,” said his brother.