Florence High School
The music that issues from the violin of Florence High School senior Maranda Rickard is described by many of her fans as “heavenly,” although the circumstances of her younger life were anything but. She and her brother lived in a household of domestic turmoil, ultimately resulting in the divorce of her parents and a period of several months living in a safe house. Though she walked among her classmates daily, she says she didn’t wish to be seen or acknowledged, blending into the background as much as possible.
It was the discovery of music and her talent for it that enabled her to emerge from the darkness. Much of the responsibility for Maranda’s family falls on her shoulders, including holding down a part-time job. Nonetheless, Maranda goes the extra mile to hone her talent and maintain excellent grades. In addition to serving as the concertmaster for her high school orchestra, she played several times in the All State Orchestra and performs regularly with the Peery Center Strings of the University of North Alabama. She hopes to one day perform with the Shoals Symphony. Maranda gives back to her community by tutoring younger students in the strings program and performing at nursing homes and community events.