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The Packer Weekly: Music brings together family, friends

West Fargo High School senior Sadie Sorenson, 2013 WFHS graduate Jadan Sorenson, 2013 WFHS graduate Duran Vigesaa and 2010 WFHS graduate Ethan Sorenson pose for a band picture in the Sorensons’ backyard. Special to the Pioneer

Competing against students more than seven years older than her has never been a problem for senior Sadie Sorenson.

In sixth grade, Sadie and her brother, 2013 West Fargo graduate Jadan Sorenson, and friend 2013 graduate Duran Vigesaa performed for the first time in their band, Fiddlin’ Friendzy, in front of 400 people at NDSU’s Bison Brevities concert.

The band won four awards for their performance that involved each of them playing multiple instruments to “Home on the Range.”

Fiddlin’ Friendzy is composed of the Sorenson family and Vigesaa.

Each time they performed, they would invite additional friends to play with them, hence “Friendzy.”

The group kept their performances laid-back and made appearances whenever requested.

“[The audience] usually all had really friendly faces, and it was nice because we knew that it was our music that was making them happy,” Sadie said.

Sadie, Jadan and Vigesaa decided to form an official band when the family was continually asked to play at events. To help with the background music, Sadie’s mother, Sherlene, played piano, Sadie’s father, Aaron, played bass and Sadie’s other brother, Ethan, played guitar.

“I was excited because it was something we could do together as a family and it would help us be closer,” Sherlene said. “It worked out well and kept them out of trouble.”

Fiddlin’ Friendzy played old-time fiddle music, which is not very common.

The group members used a wide range of instruments including vocals, cello, violin, guitar, sometimes even trumpet or recorder and more.

“I took a lot of joy just seeing the audience enjoy the music, especially an older crowd,” Sherlene said. “They love the old-time fiddle music, the variety of music that we played, and there are not a lot of people that can do that anymore.”

The band believed they had a great learning experience, and each pushed each other to become better.

“I didn’t realize it at the time, but it was nice to have someone else on my same playing level to play with me on tougher songs,” Jadan said. “(The band) really taught me to be open with people. You can’t get on stage in front of 800 to 2,000 people and play half-heartedly.”

The official band ended after a little over 60 concerts when each student parted ways, but the music in each member lives on and they play together whenever they are in the same area.

“(We didn’t) want to continue as (an official) band, but I will always enjoy the group getting together just to have some fun playing tunes and making memories,” Jadan said.

The Sorensons still perform together as a family though the band has ended, just not in official concerts. They typically play for weddings and funerals and occasionally with Vigesaa.

“I just feel a lot of pride and thankfulness every time I hear them play, especially when you can see the joy on other people’s faces that they appreciate the gift (of music),” Sherlene said.

The Packer Weekly is an ongoing column authored by high school journalism students with the intent of providing insight into a variety of school-related topics and activities.