About the The Two Belles
The Two Belles are living a musically charmed life. It is the life Albert Einstein said he would live if he were not a physicist – ” I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music.” And so it is for Merribelle and Annabelle Wharton of Duncan, Oklahoma.
This past summer they had the tremendous experience of learning under the tutelage of the Annie Moses Band in Nashville and playing in venues such as the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame. Leading up to this event, The Belles have studied one day a week for seven years at Oklahoma City University Performing Arts Academy under violinist Karen Khanagov, trained in Russia at the Azerbaijan State Conservatory. Mr. Khanagov has significantly influenced them by passing on a great love for classical music. They continue to study this instrument under Mr. Khanagov at OCU and perform in OCU’s Academy Sinfonia String Chamber Orchestra. In addition, the Belles play viola and violin in a quartet through the Performing Arts Academy.
In early 2015 Merribelle’s desire to play harp lead her to professional harpist Margaret Atkinson at 4 Harp Music where she has since been under her instruction. Margaret is a wonder with her talent for teaching and arranging pieces which blend Merribelle on harp and Annabelle on violin. She has overseen the production of some beautiful duets. Annabelle’s desire to play banjo lead her to Annie Thrower in Midwest City, OK, where she is receiving instruction on playing bluegrass music on her 5 string banjo . At times the girls enjoy pulling out their guitars to jam with their dad or playing the piano after 9 years of lessons from a local teacher in Duncan.
This year, 2016, Annabelle won the Keith Competition, the Oklahoma state competition for violinists 14 and under. In addition she was named Overall String Player for violin, viola, cello and bass. Together they have won several talent contests as a duet on their violins. They play fiddle music locally at events in their hometown, participate in the orchestra of Duncan Little Theater, and enjoy performing within driving distance of their hometown playing harp, violin, and fiddle music.
Their homeschooling and country living lend themselves to the time and inspiration to grow musically as they think, daydream and see life in terms of music. Their abundance of talent has brought delight to many audiences.