Musicians of the Fort Worth Symphony Newsletter
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Meet a Musician
Seth McConnell, Principal Timpani

How old were you when you started playing your instrument? 
6 years old

Claryville, NY

Masters of Music from the New England Conservatory

Wife, Elisa, Son, Adam, and Daughter, Clara

In a few words or sentences, how would you describe yourself? 
I would describe myself as being the most fortunate man.  I have a loving family, a fantastic job with incredible colleagues, where I get to do what I love for a living.  What could be better than that?!

Fun fact
In my youth, I was a volunteer firefighter. 
Picnic Invitation
Don't forget to RSVP to our "Potluck Picnic" on June 12th at Trinity Park, from 5-7pm. Check out our invitation here for more information, and RSVP here. We can't wait to share some food and fun with all of you before our evening concert at the Botanic Garden!
“Musical Siblings” in the Fort Worth Symphony: Part 1
By Kathryn Perry, Violinist
A few years ago, when violinist Molly Baer won an audition to join the Fort Worth Symphony, I was excited to hear that she had studied with my teacher, Andrés Cárdenes, at Carnegie Mellon University.  Mr. Cárdenes frequently talked about his teacher, the great pedagogue Josef Gingold, who in turn studied with the legendary Belgian violinist Eugène Ysaÿe. It was an inspiration to be part of a long and respected tradition. Mr. Cárdenes liked to tell his students that Gingold was our musical grandfather, and that Ysaÿe was our musical great-grandfather.  By the same logic, that makes Molly my “musical sister”. Since I have another musical sibling in the orchestra (Dmitry Kustanovich), I decided to look for other FWSO siblings. I was pleased to find quite a few! 
Molly Baer and Kathryn Perry

Kathryn: Molly and I earned our master’s degrees at Carnegie Mellon at different times, but share a lot of memories of our work with Mr. Cárdenes. We can’t seem to call him by his first name now, even though he has told us we should after graduating!  He is an incredible violinist and would demonstrate passages to us during our lessons that would make your jaw drop to the floor. He has an unbelievable work ethic and a photographic memory of the violin repertoire.  One of main things I worked on with Mr. Cárdenes was to have more variety in all aspects of my playing: in bow strokes, in attacks, in tone colors, in style of vibrato, in shifting the left hand up and down the fingerboard. These were not just technical skills, but were always in service of a piece's character.  

Molly: Mr. Cárdenes is a wonderful teacher. He has remarkable dedication to his students and his craft, and he uses his vast depth of knowledge and experience to help his students find their own voice in their violin playing.

We still enjoy hearing Mr. Cárdenes perform occasionally in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.  Pictured above after a 2014 performance at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, from left to right: Molly, Andrés Cárdenes, and Kathryn.
Dmitry Kustanovich and Kathryn Perry

Kathryn: I studied violin with Philipp Naegele for four years at Smith College in Massachusetts. Dmitry studied viola with Mr. Naegele before attending the Curtis Institute of Music. My path crossed with Dmitry’s several times before we each joined the Fort Worth Symphony in 2005. We both attended Musicorda Summer Festival in 1993, and we were both members of the National Repertory Orchestra in Breckenridge, CO, in 1999. That’s also the summer I met my husband, Brian Perry, who is great friends with Dmitry now!

Mr. Naegele was a remarkable person and musician. He left Germany in 1939 with the “Kindertransport”, eventually emigrating to America. He earned a doctorate from Princeton University, was a member of the Cleveland Orchestra under George Szell, and was a founding member of the Marlboro School and Festival in Vermont. Mr. Naegele was committed to playing with impeccable taste, without vanity in any performance.  He was a true intellectual, and would quote philosophers in lessons.  Dmitry and I would occasionally call him on the phone together to chat.  We were tremendously saddened when he passed away in 2011.  
Jeff Hall, Julie Vinsant, and George Dimitri

Jeff, Julie and George each studied with double bassist Ed Rainbow at the University of North Texas (also known as North Texas State University back then).  Ed Rainbow was a member of the Fort Worth Symphony, and Julie even shared a stand with him when she joined the orchestra. In addition, George plays on the same instrument that Ed Rainbow played in the FWSO years and years ago!

Jeff: Dr. Rainbow took me on as a high school student, and I continued studying with him at UNT. Looking back, I realize that in addition to teaching bass, he taught accountability and how to prioritize. Dr. Rainbow had a great deal of patience and was very kind. He was a wonderful teacher and a great player.
Ordabek Duissen and Tanya Dyer Smith

Tanya: I first met Ordabek at Southern Methodist University in 2004, where he had already been studying with Dr. Eduard Schmieder for a year. I was practicing for a consultation lesson and audition when Ordabek came into my room and introduced himself. He was so friendly! Talking to him and hearing him play confirmed that Dr. Schmieder's teaching was what I was looking for!

Not only were we classmates for two years, but we were also, of course, "orchestra mates". We both learned the true technique and art of playing in an orchestra in the critically acclaimed SMU Meadows Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Dr. Paul Phillips. After we graduated from SMU, our paths crossed again at the New World Symphony in Miami, where I was a fellow and Orda sometimes played as an extra musician. We are both thrilled that our musical paths continue to run parallel now that we are both members of the FWSO.
Audience Spotlight
Eileen Watkins

Eileen Watkins is originally from England- Flackwell Heath, Buckinghamshire (near Oxford) to be exact. She married a C-130 U.S. Air force pilot who brought her "across the pond" to live in Abilene, TX in 1967. (A bit of a shock coming from England!) She became a U.S. citizen in Fort Worth in 1988 and has been attending FWSO concerts for over twenty years. Mrs. Watkins is an enthusiastic Symphony lover and comments on how helpful, fair, and nice everyone from the Ft. Worth Symphony has been to her- musicians and staff alike.

Where do you live?

Are you a season ticket holder? Yes!

Are you a donor? Yes!

What keeps you coming back? I love the Fort Worth Symphony!

Do you have a favorite concert that we performed? The last concert of this season. It had such dynamics, not only with Maestro Miguel Harth-Bedoya, but also the Symphony. It was amazing. Also anything that is Tchaikovsky or Vivaldi, and from past seasons Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez. 

Are you looking forward to a particular concert next season? I look forward to every season that the Fort Worth Symphony does.

Do you know someone who we should feature in our Audience Spotlight? Email us!

Have you gotten your T-shirt yet? These 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 We are now also selling yard signs with the same design for $10 each.

T-shirts and yard signs will also be for sale at select venues, so stay tuned to our Facebook page to find out when and where we'll be!

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. 
Harmony in the Kitchen 
Deborah Mashburn plays percussion and timpani and has been in the orchestra for many years. She is a connoisseur of fine dining and a wonderful cook.  These are her recipes for two staples that can always be found in her refrigerator, as well as an easy summer adult beverage to serve with brunch - or bring to Concerts in the Garden!

1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 small shallot, minced
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. salt and pepper

Blend thoroughly (I put everything in a glass jar with tight lid and shake well).

5 cups rolled oats
1 cup sliced almonds (I often substitute pecans or walnuts or a combo of both)
1 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup soy flour (I add oat bran sometimes and wheat bran)
1/2 cup powdered skim milk
1 cup safflower oil
1 cup honey
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup raisins

Combine dry ingredients (except for raisins). Blend oil, honey and salt (I sometimes add 1 tsp.vanilla - do you get that I can't follow a recipe?), pour over dry ingredients and mix well. Spread in 13 X 9 pan. Bake in preheated oven @350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Add raisins last 10 minutes. Remove and cool thoroughly, stirring often. 

Bonus recipe - libations for brunch:

FROZEN RED ROOSTER (this is slushy and spirited)
1 1/2 quarts cranberry juice
1 6 oz. can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed but undiluted
2 cups vodka

Combine all ingredients and freeze, preferably overnight. ENJOY!
Thank you to the many additional musicians who performed with us this month! 
Copyright © 2016 Musicians of the Fort Worth Symphony, All rights reserved.

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