Madison and Audrey Simpson have played all four years on the Cuero softball team while holding high academic credentials. The pair were both pitchers and after long days of classroom activity and practice they managed to work in piano lessons as well, studying with their mentor Jo Ann Hoffman.
Photo by Frank Tilley.
As of Sunday, May 19, 2013
VIDEO: Bonding through softball and piano
Sisters Madison and Audrey Simpson talk about growing up playing softball and playing the piano
CUERO - The only thing sisters Madison and Audrey Simpson may worry about more than being in a clutch situation in a softball game is playing an instrument in front of a crowd.
They've played the game of softball together since Little League.
Recently, they finished up their second and final season together on the Cuero softball team, where they lost in the playoffs. Their bond, however, has surfaced through playing piano.
Madison started playing piano at age 5, while Audrey also started two years later when she reached that age.
"In softball, I have my (team) behind me," said Madison, 18, who will attend Texas-San Antonio in the fall. "In recitals, I have my teacher backstage making sure I don't miss a note."
Audrey, 16, approaches playing the piano similar to softball - through practice.
"Whenever you're on stage, it's a lot of fun," said the sophomore.
Both have played the piano occasionally at First Baptist Church in Cuero. Between softball and music, Audrey and Madison stay busy.
Their father, John Simpson, wanted to keep them active in things outside of school. Madison started playing piano and softball first. Audrey decided to follow along.
"It was one of those things where we would let them try it," John Simpson said. "Little did we know that they would excel at piano and softball."
On the softball field, the girls back each other up. If Madison made an error and felt bad, Audrey would pick her up to keep her head in the game. On the piano, there's little room for error.
Pianist Jo Ann Hoffman is Audrey and Madison's music teacher. She's been their teacher since they started playing, which is why the sisters believe Hoffman's standards are higher than their softball coach.
"I don't let them make mistakes," said Hoffman. "We always have something to fix."
Hoffman admitted to being demanding on the girls.
"Every time I practice something, I would have to start over" with Madison, Hoffman added. With Audrey, "lately, I yell at her more."
But with all her students, Hoffman wants them to get better.
At times though, softball conflicts with playing piano, as Audrey and Madison would come to music practice after softball practice.
"I love watching them play," Hoffman said. "Softball comes first."
John has enjoyed watching his daughters and son, Adam, play the piano, even going to watch all three perform together.
But performances together will no longer be as frequent as they once were. Madison will leave Cuero in the fall for college.
Audrey said she has not thought much about Madison leaving since it hasn't happened yet. Madison said she doesn't think about it.
"It doesn't mean I won't come back to see her," she said.