Vermont Symphony Orchestra

Kelli O’Connor

Where were you born and (if different) where did you grow up? Newburgh, NY

Current residence and marital status/family (including pets): Norwich, CT. Married to Bob Weirath (a bassist) with two daughters, Teighan and Fionagh

Education: School of Hard Knocks (1988), Baldwin-Wallace University (BM, 1992) and New England Conservatory (MM, 1994). A wee bit of DMA work at Boston University, but I escaped.

When did you start playing with the VSO? 2015

Other current jobs besides VSO: Chameleon Arts Ensemble of Boston, Eastern Connecticut

Symphony (Principal), substitute Principal Clarinet for New Haven Symphony, Professor of Clarinet at Central Connecticut State University and Connecticut College, and Music teacher at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts High School……can I have a vacation now?

Favorite composer: Dmitri Shostakovich (although I am bummed there is no chamber music written for clarinet)

Hobbies: Cooking.

How did you get started in music? 4th grade. I thought the mouthpiece cap was a salt shaker…no, really.

Describe a typical day: Figuring out what day it is, with a trough of coffee in my hand….usually running around at the last minute, drive a million miles to one of my jobs….then to my afternoon job….then rehearsal or teaching at night. I pack lots of shakes, bananas and nuts/seeds.

Dream job if not musician:  Chef!

Secret ambition: Open a winery. And maybe have some cows. They’re really cute.

Favorite vice: Wine  (see secret ambition)

People would be surprised to know that: I was quite the competitive swimmer when I was younger. Also, I HAAAAATE flying. Hate it.

Best advice I ever got: “Keep knocking at on that door….someone’s going to eventually answer it” —Dr. Squire (my clarinet teacher from undergrad on taking auditions)

Favorite way to spend an evening: With my family. I never get to hang with them!

Pet peeve: Okay, I know this is weird….but when you are in a single rest room, the door is locked, and someone tries to open the door and they start KNOCKING INCESSANTLY. Drives me bananas.

I’m most proud of: The life I have. My daughters. They amaze me every day. My husband! For putting up with my shenanigans for all these years!