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Musician Monday: Michelle Collins

Updated: Sep 29


Michelle has been a member of the Nashville Symphony since 1994. She attended the Cleveland Institute of Music and has served on the faculties of the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt, Trevecca Nazarene University, and is currently teaching at Western Kentucky University at Bowling Green. In her interview, we talk about her musical upbringing, how her family has been coping with quarantine, and her volunteer work with the Red Cross!


๐™ƒ๐™ค๐™ฌ ๐™™๐™ž๐™™ ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช ๐™˜๐™ค๐™ข๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™ฅ๐™ก๐™–๐™ฎ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™ซ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ก๐™–, ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™ฌ๐™๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™™๐™ค ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช ๐™ก๐™ค๐™ซ๐™š ๐™ข๐™ค๐™จ๐™ฉ ๐™–๐™—๐™ค๐™ช๐™ฉ ๐™ž๐™ฉ?

Coming from a musical family, playing music was something I always knew I wanted to do. My mom played the French horn, my dad played the tuba, and my older sister played the cello. I didn't like the squeaky E string on the violin, and my parents said no way to the flute (my dad was a band director, so he knew how many of those there were!), but they did said, "If you play the viola, you will get a job." True story! Plus, I just enjoy being the middle voice of the orchestra. The harmony is always much more interesting than the melody!


๐™’๐™๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™–๐™ง๐™š ๐™จ๐™ค๐™ข๐™š ๐™ค๐™› ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ง ๐™›๐™–๐™ซ๐™ค๐™ง๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™š ๐™ข๐™š๐™ข๐™ค๐™ง๐™ž๐™š๐™จ ๐™—๐™š๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ž๐™ฃ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™ค๐™ง๐™˜๐™๐™š๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™ง๐™–?

When my then 8 year old got to conduct the symphony at a children's concert. That's a memory she will never forget either. With Halloween coming up, I also think back on how much fun the orchestra would have dressing up for our children's Halloween concerts. Looking out at the audience and seeing all the kids dressed up was always a treat too.


๐™„๐™ฃ ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ง ๐™ข๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™™, ๐™ฌ๐™๐™ž๐™˜๐™ ๐™˜๐™ค๐™ข๐™ฅ๐™ค๐™จ๐™š๐™ง ๐™ค๐™ง ๐™ฅ๐™ž๐™š๐™˜๐™š ๐™—๐™š๐™จ๐™ฉ ๐™›๐™š๐™–๐™ฉ๐™ช๐™ง๐™š๐™จ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™ซ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ก๐™–?

Brahms, Brahms, and more Brahms! But, one of the best pieces for the violas is Faure's Requiem. It prominently features the violas, as there are no violins except for one pesky soloist.


๐™’๐™๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™™๐™ค ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช ๐™ก๐™ž๐™ ๐™š ๐™ข๐™ค๐™จ๐™ฉ ๐™–๐™—๐™ค๐™ช๐™ฉ ๐™‰๐™–๐™จ๐™๐™ซ๐™ž๐™ก๐™ก๐™š?

I moved here 26 years ago from South Bend, IN. I have always enjoyed how friendly most people are despite us northerners moving down here (as my southern raised husband likes to point out.) Most of my family live in this area, so this is definitely home.


๐˜พ๐™–๐™ฃ ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช ๐™ฉ๐™š๐™ก๐™ก ๐™ช๐™จ ๐™– ๐™ก๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™ฉ๐™ก๐™š ๐™—๐™ž๐™ฉ ๐™–๐™—๐™ค๐™ช๐™ฉ ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ง ๐™ซ๐™ค๐™ก๐™ช๐™ฃ๐™ฉ๐™š๐™š๐™ง ๐™ฌ๐™ค๐™ง๐™ ?

I have volunteered with the Humane Society and Big Brothers/Big Sisters, but my volunteer work with the Red Cross in Nashville was life changing. I started volunteering there one month before 9/11 and watched the need for the Red Cross grow quickly. Whether it was supporting families at a house fire at 3:00 in the morning, helping with blood drives, or natural disasters like Katrina, I felt like I was making a real contribution to our city and beyond.


๐™ƒ๐™ค๐™ฌ ๐™๐™–๐™ซ๐™š ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ง ๐™›๐™–๐™ข๐™ž๐™ก๐™ฎ ๐™—๐™š๐™š๐™ฃ ๐™จ๐™ฅ๐™š๐™ฃ๐™™๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ข๐™š ๐™จ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™˜๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™Ž๐™ฎ๐™ข๐™ฅ๐™๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™ฎ ๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™ค๐™ฅ๐™ฅ๐™š๐™™ ๐™ฅ๐™š๐™ง๐™›๐™ค๐™ง๐™ข๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ?

We have formed a schooling "pod" at my house with 4 kids. Most of my time is spent helping them succeed in their virtual learning environment. It makes me think even more highly of our teachers! I sometimes try to sneak in some viola practicing as well, while they are in class. My family has spent more time on the greenways since March. We have enjoyed extra family time together that we normally would not have had, and are trying to find the silver lining in all this.


๐˜ฟ๐™ค ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช ๐™๐™–๐™ซ๐™š ๐™– ๐™›๐™–๐™ซ๐™ค๐™ง๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™š ๐™—๐™ค๐™ค๐™ ?

Scream Free Parenting (seriously!)


๐™’๐™๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™™๐™ค ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ช ๐™ข๐™ž๐™จ๐™จ ๐™ข๐™ค๐™จ๐™ฉ ๐™–๐™—๐™ค๐™ช๐™ฉ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™Ž๐™ฎ๐™ข๐™ฅ๐™๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™ฎ?

I mostly miss my friends, and playing those pieces that bring me to tears.


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