Sisters in tune with music, life

Clarke students Aashini and Binita Shah excel in violin, science research


“Hard work pays off,” said Binita Shah, a student at W.T. Clarke High School, who, at 17 years old, has already rocked out with an internationally renowned band and conducted cancer research alongside college students and professors. Her 13-year-old sister, Aashini, can attest to Binita’s statement, as she also shares her sister’s musical exploits, and started research of her own, involving global warming, all before reaching high school.

The Shah sisters finished each other’s sentences as they listed their myriad awards, clubs and projects they’ve completed over the past few years. Aashini reminded her sister about the high grade Binita received at the New York State School Music Association, while Binita urged Aashini to speak about her experience in the Long Island Science Congress, a contest for Nassau County’s middle- and high school-age students.

Although many of their activities demonstrate separate interests, the girls have one common factor — their love for the violin. Binita, who will be a senior in the fall, picked up the instrument the summer following third grade, while Aashini, an incoming freshman, started the summer after second grade.

Binita and Aashini are busy from morning to night, filling their days with not only violin, but tutoring, science research and lab work at Molloy College. Despite their multiple commitments, the sisters don’t let stress get in the way of their passions — rather, they laugh, joke and proudly share what they’ve already accomplished at such a young age.

This past December, Binita and Aashini’s dedication to the violin was awarded with a recommendation by the Center Stage Music Center in Salisbury, where they were students for two years, to play with The Piano Guys, an all-male group with a unique repertoire of songs that combine classical and contemporary music, and have toured throughout the world.

“After nine years of mastering [the violin], we got to play with a world-renowned group,” Binita reflected.

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