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Suliana Makarita Saverio

From Fiji Times Online (23 May 2008)

by Dorine Narayan

Suliana Saverio
Suliana Makarita Saverio

SULIANA Makarita Saverio is a young woman with a great passion for music. She is a talented and professional violinist who is going places.

The first thing you notice about this 19-year-old is her beautiful smile and how strikingly graceful she is.

She is one of Fijis very own violinists, and a talented one at that. She is a member of the quartet, the Davui Ensemble.

Davui Ensemble is a small local musical group which plays the violin, viola and cello. The group aims to expose these instruments to people here in Fiji with the hope of getting interested locals to learn to play them and hopefully join the group.

Music is Sulianas escape from studies. The first year MBBS student at the Fiji School of Medicine is the daughter of Kaurasi and Akata Saverio. She is the eldest in a family of two. Her brother Oscar is 14. Suliana is shy but as the subject is music, she is eager to talk. She says music gives her a sense of identity.

Music is a part of me, it makes me who I am, she said matter-of-factly.

Its my language for expressing things I feel that I cant put into words. Music to me is a way of expressing myself. It helps me relax and relieves my stress from studies. Its my get-away from all the hustle and bustle life dishes out. To become a professional violinist was Sulianas childhood dream.

I would fantasise that I was a violinist with my ukulele and sasa-stick; trying to be like the professionals I saw on TV, she said.

The young teenager later discovered that playing a violin was not as simple as it was shown on TV. The violin was the only instrument she wanted to play ever since she was first introduced to musical instruments.

Its an instrument Ive always wanted to play because I love its sound and also because its not a commonly played instrument here.

Even when I began my music lessons on the piano at the age of seven, I always dreamt of learning to play the violin, she said.

She was 15 when she got her first chance.

I first learnt to play the violin in 2004. I started my violin lessons at USP with the former music lecturer (also the founder of our musical group, Davui Ensemble) Ueta Solomona. After he and his family returned to Samoa, I continued my lessons with Irene Cloin former Davui Ensemble leader who returned to the Netherlands with her family), she explained.

The first time she laid hands on the violin was an exciting and a memorable moment for Suliana. She couldnt wait to start the lessons.

Seeing a violin for the first time and getting the chance to learn to play it was a stepping stone for me in music, because it was an instrument I had always wanted to learn to play, she said. Learning how to play the violin was a challenge for her and she loved the challenge.

It wasnt easy and I found it difficult at first, but at the same time I enjoyed the challenge of learning something new, she said.

Unlike a guitar, there are no frets on the finger board, so to avoid hitting flat notes fingering must be precise. The other challenging thing is using a bow to play, because improper bowing gives a really screechy sound, she said. Suliana lists her faith, family and friends as the most important things in her life.

The young woman, who is originally from Juju district, is actively involved in the Rotuman Community church choir.

Apart from playing Violin, Suliana loves listening to music, playing volleyball, reading, watching movies and surfing the net.

Don't leave for tomorrow what you can do today. For me, it not only applies to not leaving assignments or studies to the last minute but also not passing up any opportunity you get in life, she said.

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