Rennaissance Woman

Rennaissance Woman
Renaissance Woman
 by Embele Awipi
 
Former Tennis player now spends time wielding a different stringed instrument.
Darcy Rindt is a lady of many talents. Originally hailing from Ridgecrest in central California, the 1995 graduate double-majored in Marine Biology and Music while playing on the tennis team.
A veteran of the Bay Area orchestras, she plays viola in a string quartet fittingly named Squid Inc. and are on a mini-tour around the Bay Area this spring.

 
How did you come to choose UCSC? As legend has it, you almost played basketball instead of tennis?
UCSC was the only school I was looking at. My high school team just went to the Semifinals in the state tournament.
So my dad did a video of my highlights, and I talked to the coach. I think it would have worked out but for whatever reason tennis was a better fit for me.
I was on the tennis team just the last two years but practiced all four years. I just had so much going on.  
I was interested in Marine biology. That's why I went to UCSC in the first place.
You still swing a mean racket?
It's funny because I just picked it up again this year.
A career in music takes a lot of time and energy to build - practicing, networking, scheduling,etc. Now that I feel I've "arrived" as a violist, I have the time and mental energy to apply all of that to tennis as well.

What was your best memory playing tennis at UCSC?
 
Not an on court memory, but we were in Arizona to play a tournament and we had one night to do something. So we all piled in a van to drove to the Grand Canyon. We pulled up and we didn’t know where it was. No moon, so we were driving and going "where is this thing?” You couldn't even see it.
Then we got to the edge and all we could see is the stars just stopped. Just this humongous gaping void. It was a fun memory.
It was a great team experience. That’s what the college team experience provides you with: things to do together and how you connect with each other.
Even when you are by yourself on the court there's this team mentality.
 
How did you start performing music? How much did you do as a youngster compared to sports?
 
I started playing when I was eight years old but didn't get serious until probably college.
I played all sports as a kid. I didn't start loving music until toward the end of my high school career.
But I liked sports because it built confidence and teamwork.
It's like playing music, most of the time you are a part of a group. So sports helped with that.
Playing an instrument is a very repetitive and physical activity and it's very common for musicians to get injured. The strength and flexibility that comes with sports has helped my body stay healthy.
UCSC is a great institution for all parts of music not just playing: theory, composition.
I got to know people in the music scene through auditions, make connections and network. This quartet I started and began to arrange and write music.
So 7-8 years ago I started actually writing music. The group came together from people I knew in the music scenes I'm in. I found some like-minded people with the desire to do what we were doing and put them together.
So in about a month we're premiering some new music. Like I say, you have to be able to work together as a team.

As if you don't have enough to do, you are also a docent at a state park?
At UCSC I majored in music and marine biology.
I wanted to go back and work in that field(biology); because I really enjoyed it. I never really went back to find a job but I went to Año Nuevo one Christmas with my family. I drove by for 15 years and said "I need to go there someday."
You go and see the Elephant seals-they're fighting and mating and having pups, but certain times of the year you have to have a guide there to show you.
It was really fantastic and thought 'this is the way I'll reconnect with Marine Biology.'
It is now my fourth season.There are 200 docents wide range of people. The season is winding down, and the visitors come from all over.  So I don't have to go around the world; it comes to you. It’s a huge destination.
 

For more on Squid Inc, visit their website.