During this week off from performances, the KSO community anxiously awaits the arrival of its youngest member. Violist Jennifer Bloch and cellist Ildar Khuziakhmetov are expecting a girl any minute now! She will join a long, splendid list of “symphony kids” that have grown up hearing their mama and/or daddy practice and perform. It was barely two months ago that we welcomed Claudia Pulgar, daughter of violinists Edward and Mary Pulgar (and little sister of Ana Cristina). Former violinist with the KSO Lucie Novoveska and her hubby, composer James Carlson of Offtrail in the Smokies fame, became the proud parents of Elise Nadine this past fall. And bassist Dan Thompson and clarinetist Erin Bray had their third awesome child, Lainie, back in March of 2010.
The players aren’t the only players in this game. Our Director of Communications Stephanie Burdette and her husband Brandon welcomed Clare into the world on 1/11/11, and Jonathan Patrick Ford was born to Executive Director Rachel Ford and her husband Terry on August 18, 2010, joining older siblings Emily and Brenden.
The subculture of KSO kids is deep and diverse; from the shower that scores a bundle of baby stuff, to providing meals to a new family, playdates where our kids get to know each other, and older kids sitting for the younger ones. Back in the early 90's there was an “official maternity concert dress” that easily a dozen expecting symphony moms wore in turn over several years. As I recall, anyone wearing it looked like someone from that Seurat Grande Jatte painting.
Music plays a role in the lives of just about all of the children born to KSO players. Some even join in with the orchestra. Rachel Grubb (daughter of principal oboist Phyllis Secrist) is a proud member of the violin section, and Bonnie Farr (daughter of violinist Elizabeth Farr) plays oboe with us on occasion. Rachel and Bonnie won UT’s concerto competition last year playing Bach together. Both had played in the KSYO and Rachel founded the Oak Ridge Youth Symphony in 2009.
It’s a transforming experience to share the stage with your children. The question is begged, is it even possible to have THREE generations playing in one orchestra at the same time?