Category Archives: Musician Stories

Musician’s Appreciation Dinner 2017

We recently enjoyed a Musician’s Appreciation Dinner, hosted by our Governing Members Engagement Committee – many thanks to them! Besides the fabulous dinner we celebrated our new members; 10th, 15th, 20th, and 25th anniversary members, and our upcoming retirees. New Members are Alexander Blazek, Trumpet; Julia Harguindey, Principal Bassoon; and Melissa McCarthy Steinberg, Principal Librarian. Retirees will be Radu Georgescu, Violin; Mary Helen Law, Viola; Cassandra Lee, Assistant Principal Clarinet; Ann Richards, Assistant Principal Flute; and Susan K. Smith, Assistant Principal Trombone.

Musician's Appreciation Dinner

Musician’s Appreciation Dinner

Nashville Ballet at the Schermerhorn!

Normally we travel a few blocks to TPAC to accompany the Ballet, but this time it was a collaboration at our home base, the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. And what a show! It has been lauded as maybe the best program of the year, satisfying to both the audience and the artists. On the program were Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, and Copland’s Appalachian Spring. Pictures are from Laura Ross and Heather Thorne.

Photo by Heather Thorne

Photo by Heather Thorne

Photo by Laura Ross

Photo by Laura Ross

Photo by Heather Thorne

Photo by Heather Thorne

Photo by Laura Ross

Photo by Laura Ross

Photo by Heather Thorne

Photo by Heather Thorne

Violin Auditions

We just had our longest audition ever – 4 days to listen to all the candidates for 3 Second Violin openings. Here is most of the committee along with the winners. Left to Right: Louise Morrison, Roger Weismeyer, Paul (last name unknown to this writer), Jimin (last name unknown to this writer), Isabel Bartles, Jung-Min Shin, Carrie Bailey, Laura Ross, Jessica Blackwell, and Chris Farrell.

Deck the Hall!

It’s time once for again for our band of elves to decorate the hall for the holiday season!

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Our own ever-festive Associate Concertmaster Gerald Greer supplied and helped set up the trees!

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What do you call four violists Onstage at the Nashville Symphony…

What do you call four violists Onstage at the Nashville Symphony? …A good start! We had a fun time filling the hall with the sumptuous sounds of viola quartets for the Onstage Oct. 26th. We also enjoyed giving a brief history of “everything you wanted to know about the viola but were afraid to ask!” Left to right: Melinda Whitley, Michelle Lackey Collins, Clare Yang, Daniel Reinker.

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Roar!!!

One of our educational ensembles performed a version of Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saens at Liberty Elementary School in Franklin this Friday. Complete with slide show! Left to right: Anna Lisa Hoepfinger, violin; Jeremy Williams, violin; Stephen Drake, cello; Clare Yang, viola; Kevin Jablonski, bass.

String Quintet

We welcome our new musicians!

The Musicians of the Nashville Symphony would like to welcome our newest members to the orchestra. Julia Harguindey joins us as Principal Bassoon while Alec Blazek fills the position of 2nd trumpet. Melissa McCarthy Steinberg takes the helm as our Principal Librarian. Stay tuned as we get to know the newest members of our orchestra.

Julia Harguindey, Principal Bassoon

Julia Harguindey, Principal Bassoon

Alec Blazek, Trumpet

Alec Blazek, Trumpet

Melissa McCarthy Steinberg, Principal Librarian

Melissa McCarthy Steinberg, Principal Librarian

Seth MacFarlane

Noted television producer, actor and singer Seth MacFarlane came and did a show with us last night. Afterwards, he joined us for a group photo –

Seth MacFarlane with the NSO

Seth MacFarlane with the NSO

Kristi Seehafer – Violinist, Runner, Cancer Survivor

Kristi after her 5th half marathon in the New England Challenge

Kristi after her 5th half marathon in the New England Challenge

Kristi Seehafer, a member of our first-violin section, is celebrating an important milestone – the 5-year anniversary since her diagnosis with Stage 4 Breast Cancer. During her initial surgery, the doctors learned that the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes. Only during her initial PET scan (pre-chemotherapy), did they find that the cancer had spread to her bones, and was Stage 4.

Kristi wants people to know that the most important lesson she learned is to listen to your own body. Her cancer was discovered only four months after a normal mammogram. She also wants people to know that a cancer diagnosis, even Stage 4, is not a death sentence. Kristi is now considered cancer free, and will return to normal (rather than diagnostic) mammograms next year.

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Now, she has returned to the exercise she loves most – running. Kristi had planned to run her first full marathon just after her initial surgery. Although she walked a half marathon one month after finishing chemotherapy, it has taken this long to recover from neuropathy and the effects of treatment.

She has come full circle, running 100 miles each month, belongs to the Fifty States half-marathon Club, and values her friendships there. (Although she has run full marathons, she prefers half marathons, saying they are “more fun.”).Her goal is to run a half marathon in all 50 states. She just finished her sixth half marathon in the Club, and recently participated in five half marathons in five days in five states (the New England Challenge). Another running goal is to run an event with her two nieces, one of whom is already a runner.

Kristi credits her current healthiness to running, a dietary supplement she now takes, and her diet, which stresses alkalinity through eating high-alkaline foods like vegetables, while limiting acidic foods such as meat, wheat, sugar, and alcohol. She stresses that anyone can become healthy, even with a serious health issue.

Kristi grew up in Wausau, WI and during high school played piano in her brother’s polka band, often getting up after late Saturday-night wedding gigs for her other job, singing at a Christian Scientist Church (no, she was not a Christian Scientist). She attended Concordia College, beginning as a voice major, then switching to violin. While at Concordia, she played in the Fargo-Morehead Symphony and Opera.

The first professional orchestra concert she attended – Kenneth Schermerhorn conducting the Milwaukee Symphony – made her realize her love for playing violin in a symphony orchestra. After living life for several years, she returned to college, receiving her Masters of Music from Northwestern. It was a challenge being older than the other students, but obviously Kristi thrives on challenge.

Her goals now are to continue running, and eventually figure out what to do when she retires.

Kristi has a very enlightening blog at http://kristiseehafer.com/

Curb Youth Symphony Side by Side concert 2016

We played our annual Side by Side concert with the members of the Curb Youth Symphony on May 19th. A great time was had by all! Here are some pics from the stage and backstage.

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