Vermont Symphony Orchestra

Rebecca Eldredge

Where were you born and (if different) where did you grow up? I was born in Boston, MA , and grew up in East Bridgewater, MA, in a house my family lived in for 51 years.

Current residence and marital status/family: I live in Montague, MA (the tiny town that time forgot); divorced since 2001 and living with three sweet and quirky rescue cats.

Education: BM from Lowell State College; UNH for Masters in music history. I was able to pay for each full year of undergrad school by working a summer job in the electronics industry. Assembly line work¬ not for me!!

When did you start playing with the VSO? I started subbing in VSO in 1983 and won my position in 1988. Other current jobs besides VSO: I presently teach 24 bassoonists in western MA: at the Community Music School of Springfield, the Northampton Community Music Center, Amherst and Smith Colleges, Deerfield Academy , and Northfield Mount Hermon School. In addition, I have a teaching studio at home and have recently started a reed¬making business.

Hobbies: Cats, reading, gardening, making jam, fixing up my house, traveling. So far my travel list includes Honduras, the British Isles, Denmark, Argentina, Malaysia, and several countries in Africa.

How did you get started in music? I attended a general music class in 8th grade in which the teacher was doing a demo of all the odd instruments the school owned but no one played. I had already been playing piano for 4 years and decided I’d like to add something else. I went home and told my mother I’d like to play bassoon. The next morning we were at the middle school gym at 7:30 am where my band director handed over the case. I had no memory that it was the BIG instrument. Luckily there was a professional bassoonist who lived in my small town, so I began lessons right away. Since my family only had one car, I used to ride my bike four miles across town for my Saturday lesson. My mother fashioned a backpack for my case and helped get me launched onto the seat of my three-speed bike and off I went!

Describe a typical day: Awake at 5:30 with cat traffic across the bed, feet on the floor 15 minutes later. Sitting at the reed desk by 8:00, listening to WAMC radio. After lunch, I head for whatever school I am scheduled to teach at that day. Usually home by 7:30.

Dream job if not musician: travel guide or interior decorator

Favorite vice: dark chocolate and frozen yogurt, together or one at a time! People would be surprised to know that: I need to have my closet doors closed at night. I had a childhood certainty that gorillas lurked in my closet! And black snakes were slithering under my bed. (No need for me to take mind¬-altering drugs in the 70’s!!!)

Favorite way to spend an evening: Watching a PBS detective show with a cat on my lap.

Pet peeve: people who don’t listen

I’m most proud of: paying off my mortgage