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Duo wants to keep it classy
Times photo: Holy Ann Garey Monroe natives Sean Garde and Nicole Heinen, both 19, are accomplished music students. They will perform classical selections during a recital set for 5 p.m. Saturday at the Performing Arts Center.

MONROE - Sean Garde and Nicole Heinen, both 19, have a passion for music. But it's classical music they love and want to share with their hometown.

"Music like this is never done in Monroe," Heinen said. "It's still alive and kicking."

The pair will demonstrate that during a special performance set for 5 p.m. Aug. 6 at the Monroe High School Performing Arts Center. Those who come to their event, Heinen said, will not be disappointed.

"It's not every day you hear an opera singer and a classical saxophonist," Heinen said.

Both Garde and Heinen are studying classical music. Garde is at UW-Platteville, pursuing a music degree with an emphasis in saxophone performance and a French minor. And Heinen attends the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., for vocal performance.

Both are planning post-graduate music studies, and Garde wants to earn a doctorate in a related field.

"Every since I was little, I wanted to be in music," Heinen said.

But music was not Garde's first field to study. As a high school student, he was initially more interested in law.

That all changed, though, when he says he saw first-hand the passion his former high-school teachers and classmates had for classical music.

"I was like "wow, I really want that," Garde said, adding that both he and Heinen fell in love with classical music at about the same time.

"My parents were very (interested) in classical music," Garde said.

Heinen's classical music experience was slightly different. She grew up listening to popular music with family, bands such as Bon Jovi and Hootie and the Blowfish.

"I came into by accident," Heinen said.

Still, her family supported her, and she was enrolled in vocal lessons as a child. And it was one of her early music teachers who also encouraged her to pursue classical.

"It is one of the most passionate types of music there is. It's very, very raw," Heinen said. "I like that about it. You can sense the emotion in it."

And that "raw emotion" is what both performers say they hope the audience hears in their upcoming performance.

"That's what we want to show people, that we are passionate about it," Heinen said.

The event is free but a donation box will be present for those who want to contribute to college funds for their music educations.

The recital will showcase each performer individually, with Heinen singing soprano and Garde playing the sax. In the final selections, they will perform together. A reception will follow.

"Not only do we want to give back to our community, but we are also hoping that they support us in our journey as well," Heinen said.