Vermont Symphony Orchestra

Stefanie Taylor

Where were you born and (if different) where did you grow up? I was born in Santa Monica, CA. My family moved to Rutland, VT when I was almost four. I still remember the first time I felt snowflakes on my tongue! We moved out to the sticks of Clarendon, about 20 minutes south of Rutland, when I was ten. There we had an assortment of animals– dogs, sheep, ducks, horses. I graduated early from high school and went to college when I was 16.

Current residence and marital status/family: I live in the village of Wallingford, VT, about three miles south of my parents’ house in Clarendon. I am single and have four children. I have a dog, a shih tzu mix, named Jasper. I see my mom pretty much every day.

Education: I have a BM from Indiana University School of Music, and a MM from Stony Brook University. I have all coursework completed for a DMA from Stony Brook.

When did you start playing with the VSO: I started playing with the VSO occasionally as a sub probably in 1999. I remember this year because my son, born fall of 1998, cried throughout an entire rehearsal outdoors in Manchester that summer. I started playing with the VSO regularly in 2009.

Other current jobs besides VSO: I teach a lot, both violin and viola, privately and at the Middlebury Community Music Center. I play as much chamber music as I can.

Favorite composer: I’m pretty dull with the favorite composer—whatever music I happen to be listening to of Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, or Brahms is my favorite.

Hobbies: Maybe I’ll have some when my kids are older. I do love to read (yes, I’m the woman walking her dog around Wallingford reading a novel or the newspaper) and I pay a lot of attention to politics and current events, but I’m not sure if those are hobbies.

How did you get started in music? I got started in music by hearing a local cellist playing Bach on her viola in a church in Rutland when I was four (no, not a mistake there with the instruments). I loved it so much, I still remember it clearly! I didn’t start lessons until a violin teacher moved to town when I was almost eight. My bread and butter growing up was folk music, though my family had a boxed set of the Bach Brandenburgs that I used to listen to over and over. I learned a lot about chamber music from hearing so much folk music (especially Peter, Paul, and Mary) and by doing a lot of small ensemble singing in high school.

Describe a typical day: During the school year, early wake-up for kids and dog, kids to school, a little or a lot of teaching during the day, maybe a rehearsal, some practice if I’m lucky, household chores like cooking, shopping, laundry, cleaning….. !, afterschool teaching or kid activities like sports, dinner, homework and music practice for my kids, sometimes evening rehearsals, small amount of sleep, repeat. Summer is more relaxed, with teaching at a camp in Massachusetts and more sleep!

Dream job if not musician: Probably college history professor, probably in women’s or some area of social history, though I’ve fantasized over the years about doing something fantastically useful, like being a human rights lawyer working for, say, Amnesty International. This would be in my next life. That is, if I’m not an operatic tenor or early music singer.

Secret ambition: To be the violist of a full-time string quartet with a college teaching residency. Many other ambitions, more mundane, like having a paid sick day, or even a week (day) of paid vacation.

Favorite vice: Probably sweets and coffee. And staying up too late.

Favorite way to spend an evening: Playing chamber music, with wine and snacks. Or, playing cards with my kids.

Most proud of: my kids