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FARMINGTON — It's been more than half a year since Emily and Grace Sartin took the stage to play violin together during an orchestra performance in Farmington.
Grace Sartin started playing the violin before her older sister and inspired Emily Sartin to start playing. In April, the two sisters were both first chair violin during the district's Honor Orchestra concert. This was the first time two siblings had both been first chair violin, which means they were concert mistresses and helped lead the orchestra.
Both sisters are now adjusting to life at new schools.
Grace Sartin started school at Piedra Vista High School this fall and Emily Sartin began her classes at Harvard University in August.
The two sisters reunited last week for Christmas. Emily Sartin's classes resume Jan. 26, 2014.
While Emily Sartin is still playing violin, she is no longer in an orchestra. She said she chose to focus on her academics.
"I'm still playing on my own and still listening to classical music all the time while I study," Emily Sartin said.
She said her favorite classical composer is Bach.
While she is not in the orchestra, she hasn't let that stop her from being involved in music. She started taking ballroom dance this semester.
"It's a way that I'm still doing things with music three days a week," she said.
The Harvard team competes with other schools and she went to her first competition in November at Brown University.
Because the team had more girls than guys, Emily Sartin decided to dance with another girl.
"We were just getting out there and having fun," she said.
Emily Sartin headed to Harvard shortly before the semester started in order to be part of a Freshman Outdoors Program, or FOP.
She said the name inspired a lot of cliches, such as "FOPortunities."
For six days, she and a small group of students hiked in Vermont and built wooden bridges over muddy spots on the trail.
"We got to know each other really well over six days," she said.
While Emily Sartin is enjoying her time in Massachusetts, Grace Sartin is adjusting to her sister's absence. She said it's different.
"There's more attention on me and I don't necessarily like that," Grace Sartin said.
This isn't the first time they've been separated though. When Emily Sartin was a junior at Piedra Vista High School, she spent a semester studying at The Mountain School in Vermont.
However, Emily Sartin said college life is different than The Mountain School. She said living in the dorms provides more independence. She has a suite at Harvard she shares with four other girls.
The independence also means she has to decide whether she has time for her hobbies, such as reading a book.
"Learning time management has really been a challenge," she said.
Grace Sartin, now a freshman in high school, has noticed how many students Piedra Vista High School has. She said the size of the school surprised her.
She said she had to adjust to being at Piedra Vista.
"When you're in your old school, you know how everything works," she said.
And her sister's reputation is always in front of her.
"It's always like 'is your sister that Harvard kid?'" Grace Sartin said.
She said she sometimes gets called Emily. However, she doesn't mind the reputation and feels fortunate Emily is known for being smart rather than being "that punk kid."
Being in high school has allowed her to try new things. She is currently enjoying her ceramics class, however she said working on the wheel is surprisingly hard.
"It takes a lot of focus," she said.
And she is still playing the violin.
This fall, Grace Sartin auditioned for All-State Orchestra and was accepted along with three other Piedra Vista students. She is the only freshman to be accepted, a feat her sister did not accomplish. While Emily Sartin auditioned for All-State her freshman year, she said she didn't make the orchestra until she was a sophomore.
"I think I'm just looking forward to meeting people from all over the state who like playing just as much as I do," Grace Sartin said.