Welch brothers and sisters combine their talents

Marcia Welch’s four children formed a band even before they began playing music together.

“They get along together. They learn to work together and help each other out,” Marcia said.

Marcia began noticing that something was unique about her children from a young age, and soon realized they were far more musically gifted beyond her belief.

“The very first time I noticed that they really got together was when they surprised me with a Mother’s Day video,” Marcia said. “They knew that I loved Carol Burnett and musicals that I grew up with so they put together a Carol Burnett-Donny and Marie Osmond skit. And I was watching it and they were singing the Donnie and Marie part and then I realized, hey wait a minute. They did skits in that video and musicals, too. I just sat there and wondered, ‘Where did this come from?’”

Raised on Kauai and home-schooled, Taylor, 22, Daniel, 18, Catherine, 16, and Anna Marie, 13, understand the importance of staying together.

“If one of us does something that’s impressive or something we’re proud of, we’ll be like ‘Wow, that’s my sibling’ and not like ‘Darn, that’s not me.’” Catherine said.

Feelings of jealousy or bitterness do not exist among the Welch children, who formed a quartet as children for fun. Now, The Welch Family is playing gigs around the island, mostly out of enjoyment and to benefit others.

“Once we started thinking that this was something that we kind of like to do, working together, because we’re all very close, it just kind of happened I guess,” Daniel said. “Just one of those moments where we said, ‘You know what? This is a lot of fun’ and we kept doing it.”

The four have been taking piano lessons and performing with the Kauai Chorale. Collectively, they can each play two instruments, piano and violin. But individually, Catherine can play the guitar, Taylor the mandolin and Daniel the viola.

“We find that, unfortunately, most of the children don’t have the ability or the outreach from parents to connect with music; it’s not available to them,” Daniel said. “So we feel like it’s a gift, but sometimes feel that it’s a diamond in the rough. You have to nurture it; you have to work at it. Sometimes I didn’t like to practice but the more you practice, the more you get over the hump.”

Unlike a lot of children who grow up playing musical instruments from a young age, the Welch’s weren’t forced into attending music lessons. The decision to learn how to play music was Taylor’s decision.

“We owe a lot to our parents,” Taylor said. “We would have been never been open to this unless they asked us. When our sister, Catherine, was born, my mother’s doctor knew a lady who taught violin lessons and my mother asked me if I wanted to learn, and I said yes. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, but I said yes. And it started right from there.”

Daniel watched his older brother learn how to play the violin and then move on to the piano and soon wanted to follow in his footsteps and become a musician.

“I guess it all started chronologically with the oldest (Taylor),” Daniel said. “He started taking violin lessons and then eventually piano lessons. And I wanted to be just like him when I was growing up so I followed along. We just started playing together a little bit. We didn’t really think much of it because we were so busy with other ensembles.”

Like Daniel, Catherine and Anna Marie soon followed suit.

“It kind of just had a domino effect,” Catherine said.

That domino effect led to this quartet which has resulted in a rejuvenation of classical, folk and pop songs that are played on a variety of musical instruments. Practicing, at the very least, for an hour a day together as a group, The Welch Family continues to share their love of music and family together.

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