Kate and Paul at Robert’s Western Wear
The Musicians of the Nashville Symphony are thrilled to add two new musicians to our ranks. Bassist Kate Munagian and Principal Trombonist Paul Jenkins both won highly competitive auditions in May and began their new jobs with the symphony in September. The musicians who served on the audition committees were very impressed with their technical and musical abilities.
So we could get to know them better, a few of us invited them to Robert’s Western World on Lower Broad so they could experience a bit of Nashville. Needless to say, they were very impressed with the house band and are looking forward to many more great experiences in Music City.
Kate grew up in Central Wisconsin where, as the daughter of music educators, she began the violin at a young age. When she was 12, she saw Nashville bassist Edgar Meyer perform with the Central Wisconsin Symphony. She put down the violin, picked up the bass, and never looked back. (Thank you Edgar!) She attended the University of Minnesota where she became friends with our own Principal Clarinetist, James Zimmermann.
Kate went to Rice University for graduate studies and was in the same bass studio as NSO bassist Kevin Jablonsky. To further prove it is a small world when you are a classical musician, she attended the Colburn School of Music in LA with Paul. She was working with the Portland (Oregon) Symphony with a one-year contract when she won the Nashville audition.
Besides Classical music, Kate enjoys Bluegrass and artists like Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, and Regina Spektor. She loves the outdoors and is looking forward to the wealth of running, hiking, biking, and kayaking opportunities Tennessee has to offer. Starting with the day she arrived in Nashville for the audition, Kate loves this town and is very impressed with how friendly our city is.
Principal Trombonist Paul Jenkins is a native of Plano, Texas located near Dallas. He vaguely remembers coming to Opryland when he was 8, but hasn’t been back to Nashville until he came to audition. Paul attended Northwestern University and then went to Colburn where he ironically met Kate out in LA. Little did they know that they would both win auditions in Nashville within a few months of each other.
Paul had a one year contract with the St. Louis Symphony when he took the Nashville audition. His busy schedule didn’t allow him to practice for the audition as much as he would have liked, but the experience of playing in a professional orchestra certainly paid off. After winning the audition, Paul went walking down Broadway and recalls it was an amazing experience winning this audition and seeing the lively city that would become his home.
Besides his passion for classical music, Paul likes many styles of music including early Blues, Bob Dylan, the Beatles, and Radiohead. For hobbies, he is pursuing guitar and woodworking. Like Kate, he thinks Nashville is super-friendly and East Nashville reminds him a bit of Austin, Texas. He also loves the pizza at 5 Points Pizza.
Please join us in welcoming Kate and Paul to the Nashville Symphony. Be sure to watch for them next time you come to the Schermerhorn Symphony Center.