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Our Beginnings

by Sarah Becker

“What if we started a business together?”

It was mostly a daydream and hardly a plan. But it was the beginning of something incredible.

Sarah and McKinley met while both tirelessly pursuing their undergraduate degrees in Cleveland. The two initially collaborated in a string quartet shortly after, which sparked their interest in playing in small ensembles. Playing in a small string ensemble allowed them to express their musical ideas, develop as artists, and create truly remarkable music. As young professionals, the two gradually began performing as a string duo, trio, or quartet at special events in the Cleveland area alongside their colleagues. By the time the two reached their senior year of college, they found themselves booked nearly every weekend, traveling from one venture to another to ensure nearby events were provided with fantastic live music. It was a riveting and crucial time for them both.

Upon graduation and beginning their graduate school experience, McKinley and Sarah found themselves at the pinnacle of their performance careers. Not only were they booked every weekend and frequently during the week, but their rigorous schedules also forced them to decline other requests from potential clients. With every, “ I’m sorry, I’m booked that day,” the two grew increasingly frustrated.

“What if we started a business together?”

Certainly it was a far cry from a plan, but it was an attractive option as the two searched for the best way to move forward.

After months of careful planning, the business baby was born; but what to name it? That was the question. The two thought extensively about what kind of music they wished to create, in hopes it would lead them to a name. They ruminated over their hopes and dreams, their favorite things, and everything in between.

Eventually, Sarah and McKinley realized what was at the heart of it all. Their journey began and their journey would continue because of a city nicknamed for being the 6th largest in the nation in the early 20th century. Their journey had begun in Cleveland, Ohio.

Sarah and McKinley are immensely proud to have founded City Six Strings in summer 2020, persisting through an unprecedented time of COVID-19, masks, date changes, and backyard weddings. Trying though it may be, Sarah and McKinley consider themselves so very fortunate to be able to provide music to local, statewide, and national events every week through the help of their talented colleagues and fellow musicmakers. What started as two college students exploring their talents has transformed into two business owners manifesting their vision.

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