As owner of one of the only violin shops in Louisiana, Anya Burgess can vouch for this region: there are lots of violin players in this region.
Burgess, a former St. Landry Parish schoolteacher and current owner of Sola Violins in downtown Lafayette, talked about her business, how she first arrived in Louisiana from Massachusetts as part of Teach for America and her accomplishments with the band Magnolia Sisters, which was nominated for a Grammy in 2010 and 2015.
You can listen to their conversation here.
Sola Violins, 100 E. Vermilion St. Suite 102, specializes in the restoration, rentals, and sales of violin family instruments. Their clientele includes everyone from students to professionals and Cajun to classical players, Burgess said.
Burgess grew up playing classical music and was exposed to more traditional Appalachian and Irish music when she studied folklore at Indiana University. She picked up the violin during her college days.
Anya settled in the Arnaudville area and still lives in the region on five acres on the Bayou Teche with her husband, Richard, and their two boys. She also maintains a shop behind her home where she originally repaired and built violins until she opened her shop.
COVID-19 has prevented her bands, Bonsoir Catin and the Magnolia Sisters, from performing in 2020, but Anya feels that “once we’re back on stage, it will be much richer.”