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Teen musician likes life on the road

Angelica Grim is isn't your average 18-year-old. She plays several instruments, sings, writes songs and has toured the country.

What particular type of music does she love to sing and play? For Angelica, it's all about the bluegrass.

While most kids her age are into more popular types of music like rock, hip-hop and alternative, the Ceres native is in love with bluegrass. She first picked up the fiddle at the age of 5.

To teach her the instrument, her parents turned to an instructor who was a very accomplished fiddler with the Ceres Old Time Fiddlers club. She quickly learned how to play, and practiced singing as well.

It wasn't long before Angelica joined the Kids on Bluegrass program and began performing at bluegrass festivals. She has been performing in Grass Valley at the annual Bluegrass Festival for the past 14 years.

Because of her active role, she also has been named an ambassador for the California Bluegrass Association, or CBA.

The reason Angelica was first introduced to bluegrass is simple: It's in the family. Her dad was a professional country singer who played at countless festivals. She grew up in a musical environment and showed a fondness for bluegrass at an early age. She has been dedicated to the genre ever since.

While attending Ceres High School, her musical interests required more attention than ever. She constantly was playing local concerts and festivals, along with other music events that required some travel.

Angelica then decided it would be best if she quit going to public school. In the middle of her sophomore year, she quit attending Ceres High and went into independent study. After completing 10th grade this way, she switched to home schooling. While continuously traveling to nearby cities for festivals and concerts, she completed 11th and 12th grades. It wasn't long before she graduated and received her high school diploma.

Soon after, she took her performing to the next level when she began an East Coast tour.

The biggest thing going on in her life right now is the recent completion of her tour. Along with several other bluegrass musicians, she has been traveling all over the eastern United States, including Nashville, Maine, Georgia and Washington, D.C., as well as Canada.

Asked how she liked life on the road, she said, "It's a little hard, and like everything, you get homesick, but I'm having a lot of fun." As she said this, she was on the road in a single RV with 13 other people.

She also is looking forward to the release of her first CD, currently in production. "The CD will be named after a song I wrote, called 'Look for Me,' " she said.

So look for her this month when she comes home to do a few performances in Fresno and Gilroy.

To hear songs and find out more about Angelica, visit www.myspace.com/angelicagrim.

Ryan Koehn is a sophomore at Downey High School in Modesto and a member of The Bee's Teens in the Newsroom program.

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