Where is your hometown? I grew up in San Marcos, Texas.
Where did you go to school?
I finished high school at the Interlochen Arts Academy, got a dual degree from SMU in Horn Performance/Music Theory, and a masters degree in Horn Performance from the San Francisco Conservatory. My major horn teachers were Greg Hustis, former principal of the Dallas Symphony, and Dave Krehbiel, former principal of the San Francisco Symphony.
Tell us about your family.
My father was the clarinet professor at Texas State, and my mother taught at San Marcos High. My brother and his wife are both in the sociology department at Texas State. My wife Victoria is a Graduate Gemologist. We have two cats, Russian Blues, Cramer and Chloe.
How do you spend your time outside the FWSO?
I am the Secretary/Treasurer of the Dallas-Fort Worth Professional Musicians Association, AFM Local 72-147. I am proud to serve my fellow musicians as one of their local officers. I am also continuing a strong tradition of unionism in my family - my grandfather helped Cesar Chavez organize strawberry workers in California.
What are your hobbies?
I am somewhat of an audiophile with an old school system - horn speakers driven by a tube amplifier. I am an avid soccer fan, and I also have run a fantasy basketball league for over 20 years.
I am a firm believer that the author of the Shakespeare works was Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford.
Orange Blossom Blooms Floral Arrangements by Adrian DeCosta, violin
Did you happen to notice the flowers on stage at the return of the FWSO on New Year’s Eve? Those designs were done by our very own Principal 2nd Violinist, Adrian DeCosta. Adrian has started a floral design studio and we caught up with her to get more info about her new endeavor.
How did you come about doing floral design?
Orange Blossom Blooms began about a year ago from my interest and passion for all things blooming. As much passion as I have for my full time job performing with the FWSO as Principal 2nd Violin, I love working with flowers and decided to educate myself and explore the world of floral design. I was the “hearts and flowers committee” for the Musicians of the FWSO and found myself ordering flowers that were not very original or beautiful in their design. Knowing that I could create something beautiful after a lifetime of creative handwork, I set out to educate myself. Several seminars and workshops later, Orange Blossom Blooms was launched. (Thanks to my talented daughter, a PR/Marketing Specialist, for the inspired name, web and logo design). For those of you who may not know, Orange Blossom Special is a fiddle tune frequently played by fiddlers: seemed appropriate for a violinist designing flowers! OBB allows me to create Floral Designs utilizing my passion, knowledge and excitement not only for flowers but all kinds of unique foliage (branches, greenery and herbs). I am known for carrying floral snips with me and (with permission) will take a snip here and there to add an unusual and fresh look to a design. Ask me about my experience in a bamboo grove sometime!
What was the idea behind the flowers for New Year's Eve?
Maestro Harth-Bedoya wanted to highlight a new beginning for the FWSO as we returned from the strike and asked me to design flowers for the stage. The only direction I was given was color: silver and white and a festive feeling. I created the podium piece utilizing white/green hydrangeas, white and green roses, spray roses and large Arbela leaves that I painted silver. To personalize the piece, I spray painted a violin silver (no worries, it wasn’t one of the Strads!) and inserted it into the design.
The two side pieces on the stage were curly willow branches that again I spray painted silver. I then added all the flowers utilized in the podium piece along with dangling crystals to the branches to sparkle for New Year's. My dear husband came and helped build those 8 ft tall designs in place because they were too large to build at home and then move. All this done before the 2pm rehearsal! It was my joy to help make our return to the stage beautiful and unique.
What other floral work are you doing?
Along with wedding and special event work, I offer a monthly design. The monthly offering is done by accepting preorders and is affordable because I can purchase the flowers in bulk. For Valentines Day 2017, I am creating a modern, luxurious Parisian style red rose bouquet in a black keepsake box. So much better than a box of chocolates!
What else can you tell us about your floral design company?
Delivery is available throughout the Metroplex. We accept a limited number of events each month to allow for outstanding service and exceptional creativity. I view each arrangement, corsage, bouquet, boutonniere and centerpiece as an opportunity to create a work of art: but it is the personal attention and experience that makes OBB different and unique.
Adrian's flower design work is truly exquisite. We hope that you will visit her website and place an order for your loved one this Valentine's Day. Spread the word of this exciting new flower artist in town! You can contact Adrian directly here.
Sing a Song in Brownwood FWSO Residency in Brownwood, TX
February takes the FWSO to Brownwood, TX for a two-day residency (Feb. 16th and 17th). Thursday evening’s program will feature our principal flutist – Jake Fridkis – playing Mozart’s Flute Concerto. In addition, audiences will hear the beloved William Tell Overture and the Dvorak’s Symphony No. 8 – a beautiful study in Bohemian style and melody.
Texas’ most-traveled symphony orchestra will then play two children’s programs on Friday morning. Elementary schoolchildren from the Brownwood environs – most of whom have never seen a string instrument in person before – will travel to the high school to hear the FWSO musically walk them through the six countries whose flags have flown over our state. They will also learn how math and music relate to each other -- with the help of Pachelbel’s Canon in D, among other repertoire.
Brownwood is the county seat of Brown County, about 150 miles southwest of Fort Worth. A town mostly employed by manufacturing and agriculture, it is also the home of Howard Payne University. For four decades, Brownwood was the home of Coach Gordon Wood, one of the top 5 winningest football coaches in the whole nation. It is also the birthplace of Major League pitchers Jim Morris (the man Dennis Quaid played in the movie The Rookie), Jerry Don Gleaton (retired), and Shelby Miller (Arizona Diamondbacks). On the entertainment front, Brownwood can boast being the hometown of Madylin, Sullivan, and Sawyer Sweeten (the three children from Everyone Loves Raymond), and Bob Denver (Gilligan, from Gilligan’s Island).
We look forward to sharing our passion for music with our friends in Brownwood!
Photo above: Jessica Morgan’s 3rd graders at East Elementary are currently studying instrument families in preparation for the FWSO’s February concert.
This article was written by Cara Owens, bassoon.
Side-by-Side with the Fort Worth Youth Orchestra
On February 26th at 7pm, there will be a very special concert where we will join the young musicians from the Fort Worth Youth Orchestra on the Bass Hall stage. The program will include the Saint-Saens Organ Symphony, which we will ourselves be performing that weekend, but to play it alongside the Youth Orchestra as well promises to be an exciting and powerful event! Several of our musicians teach members of the youth orchestra so we asked one of our own, violinist Marilyn d'Auteuil, to see what her students think about this upcoming experience.
"During a recent early morning chamber music rehearsal at Trinity Valley School, I asked these Youth Orchestra members how they felt about the upcoming Side-by-Side with the Fort Worth Symphony. Preston, unusually awake for this morning's rehearsal, was quick to say that he was looking forward to experiencing the music from a different perspective. “Sometimes a different conductor takes different tempos that make the music harder or even easier and you can experience the music in a new way.”
Ever thoughtful Sarah said that she was looking forward to being able to play with professionals and hoped to gain from their experience as seasoned players. “I think I will enjoy talking to the FWSO players about the music and getting some new ideas from them.”
Ethan, a senior headed to Vanderbilt next year, grinned and said that this is the first Side-by-Side event he has ever played in. He doesn’t know exactly what to expect, but he is excited about the opportunity and looking forward to it with an open mind. We continued to rehearse a Vivaldi concerto and two pieces by Grieg, and as the bell rang for classes to change, Tim, a Harvard bound senior, finally broke his early morning silence, saying simply: “I like the music.” It was really much too early to ask him for details, but one thing is for sure- he likes music.
I am looking forward to making music side by side with these young musicians and their friends in the Fort Worth Youth Orchestra."
Marilyn d'Auteuil, violin
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 Recipes
These brownies are a reader submission from Kimberly Binkley Norcross, mother of principal horn player Molly Norcross. They are a particular favorite among the orchestra, and became affectionately known as "Picket Line Brownies" when they were shared with musicians walking the picket line.
2 cups granulated sugar
2 sticks butter
4 oz unsweetened chocolate
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon espresso powder
1 cup dark chocolate chips
Nuts of your choice
I have basically made this a one-pot deal. In a medium sized saucepan, on low heat, melt 2 sticks of butter with 4 oz of unsweetened chocolate; stir or whisk until melted and combined.
To this add 2 cups of granulated sugar. Stir or whisk to combine.
Next, add 4 large eggs, one at a time, thoroughly incorporating each one. Stir in 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Finally, stir in 1 cup of flour.
Now, you have a couple of options. I like to add about a tablespoon of espresso powder to the melted butter/chocolate mix. I also like to add a cup or so of dark chocolate chips at the very end. You could certainly add nuts, too.
I line a 9x12 pan with Reynolds nonstick foil, pour in the batter and bake about 30 minutes in a preheated 350 oven. The trick with these gems is to bake until just barely done. OK, bake and dig in!
Thank you to the many additional musicians who
performed with us this month!