Playing at the Grand Ole Opry is another dream fulfilled for Plum Coulee native Rosemary Siemens.
The violin sensation, who embraced the genre of country about five years ago, made her appearance on stage to close off the Inspirational Country Music Awards, performing Jesus Loves Me along with Chris Golden (son of William Golden of the Oak Ridge Boys) with the Huckabee Band led by Tre’ Corley.
Siemens said she had her sights set on taking to that stage at some point, telling her manager Dale Penner last year.
“I said next year I’m going to play on that stage for the awards show, and it happened,” she said.
In fact while attending last year’s awards, Siemens brought home bulletins advertising this year’s show and placing them on her desk. “I remember saying to Eli (Eli Bennett is Rosemary’s husband), I’m going to play on that show.”
While she doesn’t remember her first time at the Opry, it happened when she was only one, when her parents brought her to the show. “My mom said that was the very first show I was ever at,” she said. “And now to bring Theodore (Rosemary’s son) at almost the same age…”
Siemens has been working on her new album and on Jan. 26 was putting the lyrics together on a new song about playing at the Opry. “Jan. 27 is when I got the call to play… so it was unbelievable,” she said.
Siemens has played in the Sistine Chapel and at Carnegie Hall, and said this is also very special.
“I’ve had the opportunity to play other amazing places but since I’ve kind of added this genre to what I do, that is the most legendary country stage in the world… it’s where country music was made famous,” she said.
When Siemens first arrived in Nashville, she took in a show.
“I went to the Opry all by myself and I sat there… I just remember thinking this is the greatest show I’ve ever been too,” she said. “I could not get over how awesome that show was.”
In the Grand Ole Opry is a circle of flooring from the original site. Being able to stand where so many country greats have stood made an impact.
“Anyone that stood in that circle has stood where basically every great country musician in the world has stood,” she said. “It’s pretty amazing.”
Siemens’ song called “Standing in the Circle” will be part of her new album expected out in fall.
“It’s mind boggling actually,” she said. “It’s the same feeling at Carnegie Hall and the Sistine Chapel. I feel so honoured to have that opportunity. It’s humbling.”
There are still some big goals on Siemens’ list. They include doing a PBS Special, featuring the musicians she’s worked with and her life, sharing stories such as her stolen violin, or playing for a veteran at Cracker Barrel.
She’d also love to win a Grammy.
When it comes to performing, Siemens is at home on any stage.
“I went from playing the Grand Ole Opry to playing the basement of the EMMC Church in Altona for the Gideons, but I love that juxtaposition.”
“I just feel fortunate to be able to share music with everyone and anyone, whether it be one person or an audience of 5,000 people,” she added. “Just to make people smile… I feel so fortunate to be doing what I’m doing and have the support of people around me.”
That support at the Opry came directly from her parents, Jack and Mary Siemens, who drove 13 hours from their Florida vacation spot to take care of Theodore during the performance.
“Really it’s thanks to my mom and dad and their investment in time and everything into my career,” she said. “That’s why it was so special to have them at the Opry with me.”
Playing Jesus Loves Me at the Grand Ole Opry is a memory that Siemens said she’ll always have. “At the end everybody just started singing Jesus Loves Me without the band,” she said. “That was such a cool way to end it, and that wasn’t planned, it happened in the moment.”
Rosemary Siemens fans can check out her In the Garden YouTube released this week.