'Music is for everyone:' Milwaukee-based 'SistaStrings' show students how to feel the rhythm

MILWAUKEE -- Even in warm-up, it is clear sisters Monique and Chauntee Ross have a deep attention to detail.

“I need to clean off my cello,” Monique said before beginning to tune her instrument.

It is also obvious the Ross sisters have colorful and creative styles. At the time of our interview, Chauntee was sporting orange braided hair and Monique wore colorful yellow sunglasses. Their personalities are as complex as the music they have mastered.

Monique and Chauntee Ross

Monique Ross

“Playing with my sister is the best thing and sometimes the wildest thing,” Monique said.

The duo makes up the Milwaukee-based band “SistaStrings.” The two play gospel, folk, R & B, and more. Sistastrings is classically trained.

“We can just feel how each other is playing and the sound and really adjust to it in a way that I`ve never been able to do with anyone else,” Chauntee said.

Chauntee and Monique Ross

Their musical journey began as young girls, performing in churches. The Ross sisters were able to fine-tune their skills in music schools, where there were not always many people of color playing stringed instruments.

“I had a teacher that would not teach me because I was a young black girl,” Monique said. “Running into those kinds of experiences growing up, you learn to push through.”

Chauntee Ross

Monique and Chauntee Ross also teach their talents, showing students how to feel the rhythm and beat.

“Somebody did it for me. You know? We have to keep things flowing” Chauntee said.

“Music is for everyone, every style of music is for everyone. Being able to portray that I feel like is pretty awesome,” Monique said.