Jake's viola


I picked up the viola in public school when I was 11.

At the time, I was so jealous of “the other kids” who seemed to have a generous head start with private lessons as young as 6, that I pleaded with my mom for lessons as well. Naturally, she caved.

I first studied under a Baroque violinist whose father made harpsichords… true story! She was the violist in the Spokane String Quartet, but eventually moved to The Hague to study Baroque violin more seriously. I then connected with an amazing woman, also an active member of the Spokane Symphony as the principal violist.

image Jake Sweet plays the viola
What’s the difference between a viola and a trampoline? (you take your shoes off to jump on the trampoline)

During high school, I played in small ensembles during ‘zero-hour’ (before normal classes began at a mind-altering 7:00am), and Chamber Orchestra immediately after during first period class, for three years. I also played in a variety of quartets both in and out of school, and a couple seasons with the Spokane Youth Symphony.

Looking back, I realize now how lucky I was to work with such talented people, absolutely across the board. From the first few days of pizzicato in my grade school music room, to solo concerto performances at the Spokane Opera House and competitions across the state, I’ve literally played with some pretty darn incredible people.

Getting ‘back into it’ has been slow going, to be honest. But just like riding a bike, eventually my fingers will gain speed, their dexterity restored. As I rediscover this, I look forward to sharing some well-practiced compositions and arrangements.

Until then… follow the links below to view a short performance I recorded in December of 2010. I’m actually playing the violin, but the piece was originally composed for viola.

Go figure.

Telemann’s Concerto in G Major, 3rd Movement | Part 1

Telemann’s Concerto in G Major, 3rd Movement | Part 2