Swinging singers

Girls write their songs on the swingset


At 4, Allegra Rosenberg and Talia Wertico started singing. At 7, they made their first CD. Now, at 9, they are performing  gigs and taking to the studio.

“We love singing and making up songs. It’s a way we express ourselves,” says Allegra.

Their professional success is helped, in part, by their parents, who just happen to work in the music business. Talia’s parents are piano player Barb Wertico and drummer Paul Wertico, a seven-time Grammy Award winner. Allegra’s dad is Stuart Rosenberg, who is a versatile musician as well as a music producer. The girls, both of Skokie, have been friends since birth—their mothers were pregnant at the same time and the children have grown up together. Their first CD, “Songs for the Swing Set,” was recorded in November 2003 and went on sale this year.

The CD title came from their experience—the girls’ professional career started on a swing set.

Every summer, the two attend the Jewish Community Center’s camp and spend a lot of their time swinging and making up songs. Their first song, “Star Venus Earth,” was written when they were 4.

Two summers ago, the girls came home from camp and told their parents about the songs they wrote while swinging.

“These songs were great,” says Allegra’s mom, Rachel Rosenberg. “We decided the families would get together and try to make a CD of the girl’s songs since we have a studio in our basement.”

Theo, Allegra’s, 5-year-old brother, tried to help. Even their dog, Rocky, barked for one of the songs. “We had some late night sessions in our pajamas,” says Allegra.

Talia says the CD contains a lifetime of experience—or, at least, almost a decade of experience.  “We have both been around music our whole lives. We even take piano lessons together,” she says. But their lives are about more than music. Both girls ice skate, ride horses, read, play piano and tennis and attend Hebrew School. “It is hard to find time to write new songs,” says Allegra.

The girls have some definite musical goals, though. “My favorite singer is Hilary Duff,” says Talia. “I want to be like my parents, but I     wouldn’t mind being famous.”

Allegra says: “I don’t want to be totally famous, just locally.” The girls’ parents have their own ideas. “We don’t want our kids to turn into the next Britney Spears, and we are not pushing them; it’s all about fun. They are expressing themselves as woman at a young age,” says Rachel Rosenberg.

Next up: a new CD. “We just have three more songs to write,” says Allegra.

Megan Lear

Kids Eat Chicago

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