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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Siblings of Run Boy Run carry the family torch

Band currently on tour won Bluegrass competition in 2011

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By William Aranda / New Mexico Daily Lobo

Siblings Grace and Matt Rolland stand outside their tour van in Northeast Albuquerque on Thursday afternoon. Their band, Run Boy Run, are planning on releasing a new album this fall.

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For siblings Matt and Grace Rolland, music had been a part of their family long before they were born.

As fiddler and cellist, respectively, for the Tucson-based band “Run Boy Run,” the two said they are the latest in a long line of respected musicians.

Their grandfather, Paul Rolland, created the Rolland teaching method, which Matt said has been the family legacy.

“Our grandfather pioneered the pedagogy method of teaching stringed instruments that is still taught in most education programs for music teachers,” he said.

The Rolland Method teaches students to play stringed instruments by focusing on the movement and balance of both the player and the strings.

Both siblings were taught how to play various instruments at a young age as a result of their parents’ and grandparents’ various musical backgrounds.

“I’m a cellist and I grew up playing classical music,” Grace said. “Both of our parents are musicians, so we learned music through the family band context and through orchestras.”

Matt and Grace said their parents have supported their musical endeavors since the siblings were young.

“Our parents were our biggest influences early on, surrounding us with music, and we had a family band,” Matt said. “It was really great to grow up with that music, hearing it all the time. It just soaks into your blood.”

The rest of the group includes sisters Bekah and Jen Sandoval on fiddle and mandolin, and Jesse Allen on bass. While all of the members share vocals, Matt and the Sandoval sisters formed the band while attending the University of Arizona.

Two years after forming, “Run Boy Run” performed at and won the Telluride Bluegrass Festival Band Contest in June of 2011, which helped the band get more exposure.

“When we were named as the winners, it was one of the biggest thrills of all of our lives.” Matt said. “It was really a huge honor, it helped us take our band and our name to another level.”

“Run Boy Run” has released one E.P., a two-song single and a full-length album titled “So Sang The Whippoorwill,” which was released March last year.

“This has been a really good national tour,” Matt said, “we hit some of the same cities as our last national tour, so we saw familiar faces and recognized some streets.”

To listen to “Run Boy Run,” visit runboyrunband.com.