Musicians of the Fort Worth Symphony Newsletter
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Come join us on April 2nd!  B Sharp Youth Music Program and Mondo Drummers are two examples of Fort Worth’s wonderful childhood arts education organizations — both using music to give our community’s students an artistic outlet for creative expression.  FWSO Musician groups performing will include a brass quintet, a flute duo, and a string quartet.  This variety show in the modern setting of “Shipping and Receiving” shouldn’t be missed!
Meet a Musician
Jennifer Corning Lucio, Principal Oboe

Where are you from? 
I was born in St. Louis and was raised in Panama, Massachusetts and Wisconsin. After college in Cleveland and New York City,  I thankfully landed in Texas.  

Do you come from a musical family?
No, but my parents are perceptive listeners.  Now that they have moved to Fort Worth, they enjoy coming to the symphonic concerts on multiple evenings to hear the subtle differences that make live music so exciting!

How/when did you choose your instrument and career path?
I started on the piano, and after playing In the Hall of the Mountain King by Edward Greig, I heard my older friend play it on the bassoon.   I thought it sounded much more expressive and colorful on bassoon, so I decided that I wanted to play the bassoon also. My mom took me to the bassoon teacher, who said I was too petite and would have to play the oboe until I grew. I burst into tears, because I knew that whatever an oboe was, it would not be as cool as the bassoon.  I am now five feet tall and still waiting to play bassoon!   Fortunately, I have found my voice with the oboe in the meantime!

Do you have a favorite piece of music or composer? 
I love Gustav Mahler's Song of the Earth and hope we get to play it here sometime soon.

Favorite hobbies/past times, other than reed making?
Yes, double reed players make their own reeds.  It is like a second job, which that old, rumpled bassoon teacher never warned me about when he told me to play the oboe.  However, I am passionate about hiking and our National Parks.  I enjoy poetry and am interested in financial investing.  During the strike, I scored well on the LSAT and thought about becoming a lawyer, but I am glad we are back to work!

Where is your favorite place to hang out in FW? 
We love Velvet Taco, the Kimbell, and the Botanic Gardens.

Anything else you'd like to share?
My husband, Steven, is a pharmacist and a native Texan. He is very patient and supportive when I am trying to get the perfect reed for an upcoming concert.

3 Steps to 3 Million Dollars

Thank you to the Amon G. Carter Foundation for being committed to quality live symphonic music in Fort Worth! This grass-roots campaign encourages large-scale participation, particularly at small donor amounts. More "family members" will bring dynamism to our organization and will demonstrate a community that honors its performing arts. Please consider joining us!

Fort Worth Symphony Premiere
The "Nose Symphony" 

The Musicians of the Fort Worth Symphony are excited about their upcoming world premiere of the "Nose Symphony" by up-and-coming composer Nelson Louis Rogers. Rogers describes the piece as an opportunity to explore the use of the nose in symphonic music. "People frequently relate music to images, feelings or even flavors, but it seemed to me that the nose and sense of smell is underrepresented" said Rogers.

For the performance, different scents will waft through the hall to correspond with different passages of music.  In addition, musicians are using new techniques for the piece. Flutists Jake Fridkis and Pam Adams were enthusiastic about using their noses on the flute.  "The air control is totally different, but it's a really unique type of sound" said Jake. Some wind and brass players are modifying their instruments in order to use their noses more effectively.

Violist Joni Baczewski said that she and the viola section have found the nose pizzicato to be particularly challenging. "We are used to using our fingers for pizzicato, and we've developed callouses" she said. "Our noses are much more sensitive, so it's more difficult to get a good sound, especially for the nose trills."

If any patrons are concerned about allergies related to the scents to be used in the hall, there will be a list of ingredients in the program. We look forward to seeing you for this very special performance on...April Fool's Day!

Sibelius Connections in North Texas
An interview about Sibelius with his great-great-granddaughter

The Fort Worth Symphony is performing Sibelius's Violin Concerto with violinist Alexandra Soumm in our concerts the weekend of April 7. While many of you may be familiar with the Violin Concerto, you may not know that we have a direct descendant of Jean Sibelius living here in North Texas!  Sibelius's great-great-grandaughter, Ruusamari Teppo, is a doctoral candidate in collaborative piano at the University of North Texas in Denton, where she is writing her dissertation on Sibelius's writing for piano.  Ruusa was raised in Finland, then studied in Paris, Budapest and Prague before coming to Denton, TX to study with Vladimir Viardo, Steven Harlos and Elvia Puccinelli.  FWSO Violinist Kathryn Perry recently talked with Ruusa about her connection to the famous composer.

Kathryn: How would you describe the music of Sibelius to those who may not be familiar with him?  
Ruusa: Well, most importantly he was inspired by nature, even from a young age.  He would go on walks, and would feel inspired by the water, by swans, and by the beauty of the world around him.  Also, he was inspired by the Kalevala, a collection of ancient Finnish poetry which was passed down in the oral tradition (and published in the early 1800s); Sibelius travelled to hear parts of the Kalevala performed in person so he could hear the rhythms and inflections of the poetry.  Finland had been under the rule of Russia or Sweden for hundreds of years and these Finnish poems were disappearing, so it was quite significant that they were written down for posterity.  Although Sibelius's family was Swedish-speaking, he learned Finnish and was drawn to the Finnish poems, the landscape of Karelia, and Finnish nationalism.

Kathryn: Why do you think Sibelius's Violin Concerto is so popular?
Ruusa: Well, probably because it's a very good piece!  He was great at writing for the orchestra, and he was a violinist himself, so perhaps it's because it is a combination of those two things.  Did you know he revised the piece extensively?  The revised version (which was written in 1905) is what we are used to hearing, but the original version (which premiered in 1904) is quite different.  The original version was recorded in the 1990s by violinist Leonidas Kavakos

Kathryn:  Tell me how you are related to Sibelius.  And do you have any special stories about him you could share?
Ruusa: Well, he and his wife, Aino, had six daughters.  Their oldest daughter's oldest daughter was my grandmother, who I was very close to.  Although most people hear stories of him being very serious and of drinking too much, my grandmother remembers him as a very warm person with a great sense of humor and bright blue eyes.  However, when he was working, the children had to be quiet.  Instead of practicing on the piano, the kids would practice piano silently on the table.

Kathryn: Do you yourself have any performances of music by Sibelius coming up?
Ruusa: I'm very excited because I will be playing his Piano Trio [for Violin, Cello and Piano] later this year with the Jarnefelt Trio in concerts across the United States in honor of the 100th anniversary of Finnish independence.  The Piano Trio is a very early work that hasn't been published; he wrote the piece to play with his sister, who played the piano, and his brother, a cellist.

Pictured above: Ruusamari Teppo playing the piano at Ainola, Sibelius's home about 20 miles outside of Helsinki, which was built in 1902;
Ruusamari with her mother, Kaarina Teppo, also at Ainola.

Although the strike is over, we would still appreciate your help as we move forward. "Support the Musician" T-shirts were beautifully designed by our principal violist Laura Bruton. They are $20 each, adult sizes S-3X, and can be purchased online by emailing orders to us at

Pictured left are Seth McConnell, timpani, and Keira Fullerton, cello. Right, violist Aleksandra Holowka stands behind a yard sign with her daughter, Ela, and neighbors, violist Dan Sigale and Samson. 
Pictured above: violist Dan Sigale, cellist Debbie Brooks, and bassist Jeff Hall support young musicians at the Martin High School Warrior Band on the Run 5K on March 4th, 2017.
"Bach in the Subways": Pictured above are violinists Kathryn Perry and Molly Baer, pre-conservatory violist Atlee Daniel, and Suzuki students Madeleine Perry and Abigail Proell.
Harmony in the Kitchen 

This recipe was shared by violinist Izumi Lund. She notes: "This bread recipe is from 'Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day' and was modified for my own use."

Boule (Artisan Free-Form Loaf)

Makes two 1-pound loaves. The recipe is easily doubled or halved. 

  • 2 cups lukewarm water

  • 1 packet granulated yeast

  • 1/2 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon kosher or other coarse salt

  • 4 plus 1/3 cups (570g) unsifted, unbleached, all-purpose white flour,
         measured with the scoop-and-sweep method

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Mixing and Storing the Dough

1. Warm the water slightly: It should feel just a little warmer than body temperature, about 100°F. Warm water will rise the dough to the right point for storage in about 2 hours.

2. Add yeast and salt to the water in a 5-quart bowl or, preferably, in a resealable, lidded (not airtight) plastic food container or food-grade bucket. Don't worry about getting it all to dissolve.

3. Mix in the flour—kneading is unnecessary: Add all of the flour at once, measuring it in with dry-ingredient measuring cups, by gently scooping up flour, then sweeping the top level with a knife; don't press down into the flour as you scoop or you'll throw off the measurement by compressing. Mix with a wooden spoon.

Don't knead. It isn't necessary. You're finished when everything is uniformly moist, without dry patches. This step is done in a matter of minutes, and will yield a dough that is wet and loose enough to conform to the shape of its container.

Allow to rise: Cover with a lid (not airtight) that fits well to the container you're using. Allow the mixture to rise at room temperature until it begins to collapse (or at least flattens on the top), approximately 2 hours, depending on the room's temperature and the initial water temperature. Longer rising times, up to about 5 hours, will not harm the result. You can use a portion of the dough any time after this period. Fully refrigerated wet dough is less sticky and is easier to work with than dough at room temperature. So, the first time you try our method, it's best to refrigerate the dough overnight (or at least 3 hours), before shaping a loaf.

Relax! You do not need to monitor doubling or tripling of volume as traditional recipes.

On Baking Day

5. The gluten cloak: don't knead, just "cloak" and shape a loaf in 30 to 60 seconds. First, prepare a pizza peel by sprinkling it liberally with cornmeal (or whatever your recipe calls for) to prevent your loaf from sticking to it when you slide it into the oven.

Sprinkle the surface of your refrigerated dough with flour. Pull up and cut off a 1-pound (grapefruit-size) piece of dough, using a serrated knife. Hold the mass of dough in your hands and add a little more flour as needed so it won't stick to your hands. Gently stretch the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go. Most of the dusting flour will fall off; it's not intended to be incorporated into the dough. The correctly shaped final product will be smooth and cohesive.

6. Rest the loaf and let it rise on a pizza peel: Place the shaped ball on the cornmeal-covered pizza peel. Allow the loaf to rest on the peel for about 40 minutes (it doesn't need to be covered during the rest period). Depending on the age of the dough, you may not see much rise during this period; more rising will occur during baking ("oven spring").

7. Twenty minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 450°F, with a baking stone placed on the middle rack. Place an empty broiler tray for holding water on any other shelf that won't interfere with the rising bread.

8. Dust and slash: Unless otherwise indicated in a specific recipe, dust the top of the loaf liberally with flour. Slash a 1/4-inch-deep cross, "scallop," or tic-tac-toe pattern into the top, using a serrated bread knife.

9. Baking with steam: After a 20-minute preheat, you're ready to bake, even though your oven thermometer won't yet be up to full temperature. Slide the loaf off the pizza peel and onto the preheated baking stone. Quickly but carefully pour about 1 cup of hot water from the tap into the broiler tray and close the oven door to trap the steam. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the crust is nicely browned and firm to the touch. Because you've used wet dough, there is little risk of drying out the interior, despite the dark crust. When you remove the loaf from the oven, it will audibly crackle when initially exposed to room-temperature air. Allow to cool completely, preferably on a wire cooling rack, for best flavor, texture, and slicing. The perfect crust may initially soften, but will firm up again when cooled.

10. Store the remaining dough in the refrigerator in your lidded (not airtight) container and use it over the next 14 days: You'll find that even one day's storage improves the flavor and texture of your bread. This maturation continues over the 14-day storage period. Refrigerate unused dough in a lidded storage container . If you mixed your dough in this container, you've avoided some cleanup. Cut off and shape more loaves as you need them. The dough can also be frozen in 1 pound portions in an airtight container and defrosted overnight in the refrigerator prior to baking day.

Thank you to the many additional musicians who
performed with us this month! 
Copyright © 2017 Musicians of the Fort Worth Symphony, All rights reserved.

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