Vermont Symphony Orchestra

The VSO Blog

Five-Question Interviews

Wondering what our musicians have been up to lately?  Over the past few months, our Marketing Manager caught up with several of them to ask them each the same five questions:

  1. What was a typical workday like for you before the pandemic?
  2. What is a typical day like for you now?
  3. What is something that people may not realize about being a professional (your instrument)-ist?
  4. What is the most unusual show you’ve ever played?
  5. What is your favorite Ben & Jerry’s flavor?

As could be expected, their answers were as unique as they are.  We look forward to the day that we can welcome them all back—locals and commuters alike—for in-person concerts.  In the meantime, enjoy some bizarre gig stories, glimpses into the temporarily upended live music industry, and lots of talk about ice cream flavors.


Hear about fossilized mastodon, ice cream for breakfast, and more from Concertmaster Katherine Winterstein.


Violinist Jane Kittredge has a story for you about a marriage proposal gig in Central Park.


Get to know violinist Laura Markowitz, who is an avid gardener, performed at the Super Bowl with Whitney Houston, and makes her own vegan banana ice cream.


Principal Viola Russell Wilson discusses viola’s ergonomic hazards and a rock rendition of Handel’s Messiah.


Cellist Bonnie Klimowski discusses life with six cats, her new practice regimen, and a gig with some accidental pyrotechnics.


No, bassist Eliot Porter doesn’t wish he played the piccolo, but he does have a story for you about playing a gig with a ventriloquist.


Principal Flute Melissa Mielens talks dog walks, the Berlin Wall, and more.


You’ll want to hear about the Led Zeppelin tribute gig that landed Second Oboe Will Wise in the emergency room.


Principal Bassoon Janet Polk talks reeds (of course), playing bassoon in a ghost town, and more.


Principal Horn Shelagh Abate discusses life “before the world stopped” and precarious gigs on a moving platform and scaffolding.


Hear about graduation season, performing at Fenway Park, and more from Principal Trumpet Mark Emery.


Principal Trombone Matthew Wright suits up in his concert attire for an unedited chat about quarantine pastimes, similarities between trombone players and relief pitchers, and a gig he performed on oboe.


Bass Trombone Gabe Langfur covers all the basics, like daily routines and performance art with live goats.


And, last but not least, find out why Principal Timpanist Jeremy Levine logs extra hours in the concert hall and used to be big in Korea.