Keeper of the Plans

Violinist Lindsey Stirling talks success, ‘Harry Potter,’ and the road to Wichita

Lindsey Stirling is about to begin a nationwide tour off her latest album, “Warmer in the Winter.” The tour will stop at Wichita’s Intrust Bank Arena on Thursday.
Lindsey Stirling is about to begin a nationwide tour off her latest album, “Warmer in the Winter.” The tour will stop at Wichita’s Intrust Bank Arena on Thursday. Courtesy photo

Lindsey Stirling, the energetic violinist who has amassed millions of online followers, is bringing her holiday tour to Wichita this week.

Stirling, who first burst into the public consciousness by releasing hip hop-infused violin videos on YouTube, is now a successful recording artist. She appeared on “America’s Got Talent” in 2014, and since then her popularity has only grown.

She’s touring now off her most recent album, October’s “Warmer in the Winter: Deluxe Edition,” a re-release of her 2017 holiday album that features bonus songs.

Last fall, she appeared on “Dancing With The Stars,” where she finished in second-place.

The Eagle caught up with Stirling via telephone on Wednesday to talk about her upcoming tour, among other things.

Responses have been lightly edited for length.

Q. So you’re about to start your Wanderland Tour, which is stopping in Wichita next week. What can people expect to see?

A. I mean, it’s a show. We’ve had a great time putting the show together. People will be thoroughly entertained. There’s everything from ballroom dancing to pointe ballet to songs that will make you feel the warm fuzzies of Christmas and songs that are going to make you want to get up and dance. It’s really got so, so much variety. It’s theatrical, with set changes, costume changes and props. I’m really proud of it.

Q. Will it be mostly music from your album, “Warmer in the Winter?”

A. Yes.

Q. On that album, you take traditional Christmas songs and perform them in your trademark style. How do you take those songs and put your own twist on them?

A. It’s a challenge to take Christmas music and put your own spin on it, I feel, for two reasons. People love these songs so much and they don’t want them to change a lot, and people are very attached to Christmas songs. That’s a challenge trying to keep it true but also making it your own. ‘Silent Night’ has been done how many thousands of times? ‘Carol of the Bells,’ all of these songs have been done by so many different artists in different mediums. That’s always part of the fun of it, trying to reimagine them. ‘Carol of the Bells’ was one of my favorites I did, for sure.

Q. Going back a bit, a lot of people first stumbled upon your music by watching your early YouTube videos, where you play video-game songs and a lot of covers. How would you say you’ve grown since then?

A. Gosh, I’ve grown in so many ways. I’ve always had these visions of what I wanted to become. The first tour I ever did, we were playing these little 300-seat clubs, my band and I, and yet I still brought this big-screen TV with me and I would put it on stage every day and play these videos I had made on the screen behind us as I would play the songs. I love putting productions together. At the time, I had no budget and no money for big productions and didn’t have a big enough stage to do everything. Now it’s been amazing to see these little baby ideas I had back then become big ideas. I get to create this really beautiful production. I used to sew all my own costumes, and now I get to work with stylists, and others who help make (my dreams) into reality. It’s pretty amazing to see that growth in myself and the show as I imagined what it could be.

Q. Are there any of those fandoms that you’re especially partial to? Say, “Legend of Zelda,” or “Lord of the Rings,” or any of the other music you’ve played?

A. My favorite fandom — and I haven’t actually done a video of it yet — is by far “Harry Potter.” I will do a song for “Harry Potter” at one point, it just hasn’t happened yet. I’ve read all the books multiple times, seen all the movies. I love Harry Potter World, and I’m a Gryffindor.

Q. So we’ll see you in Wichita for the first time next week. What are you doing to prepare for your visit?

A. We’ve been rehearsing nonstop. I mean, I’m in my house right now sitting next to my violin. It’s like getting in shape again. It’s a different kind of playing, a different kind of physicality it takes to go on tour, a different mindset. I have to get myself in that mindset again. I am really looking forward to it — I love performing and I love putting on a show. Every night’s show feels different, because you get to see it for the first time from the eyes of the audiences. That makes it so exciting.

Lindsey Stirling at Intrust Bank Arena

When: 8 p.m. Thurs., Nov. 29

Where: Intrust Bank Arena, 500 E. Waterman

What: Popular violinist Lindsey Stirling will perform a holiday-themed show on her Wanderland Tour.

Admission: $35-$75