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Divas who are musicians?

Tvan

Angel Diva
Snow's comment in the horseback riding thread about her orchestra needing musicians sparked a question. How many Divas play instruments??

I'm a former violinist (played professionally and taught at the college and conservatory level for 10 years) and presently playing cello. I'd love to find an amateur chamber group to play with, but my travel schedule for work is crazy.

Any other musical divas out there?
 

whitewater girl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I was a voice major in college, have played in a number of recorder consorts (I prefer playing tenor or bass) & attempt to play folk harp (which thankfully sounds lovely no matter how badly I play)...all suffer from a lack of time to devote to them at this stage in my life...
 

2ski2moro

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Music is a part of my soul. I was a Woodwinds Major at college - full scholarship, everything. In my Freshman year, I had some minor surgery on a skin cyst on my cheek. The doctor damaged a nerve and the side of my mouth was numb. Practicing was a pain because after a while, I couldn't hold the corner of my mouth tight. My keyboard skills were ok, and my voice was ok, but never enough to really be a college level musician. So, onward and upward.

Now, I play a Yamaha WX5 Wind Synth for my amusement. Sometimes I get called on to play the “trumpet” or “flute” sound for a church performance, but my favorite is jazz sax. The WX5 looks like a clarinet and fingers like a sax. It responds to wind velocity and lip pressure. Each key is a switch. It is connected to a MIDI tone generator, which is in turn connected to an amp.

The monophonic tone generator is the really interesting part of the rig. It is the size of a large paperback book. There are 256 presets to sound like a piano, trumpet, violin, cello – anything you can think of. There are a variety of saxophones – bright soprano, smoky jazz tenor, or honky bari sax. Or, you can get some really funky, wacked-out electronic sounds by adjusting the tone generator yourself. No more transposing in my head, I can preset it to b-flat, e-flat or C with a switch. Out of the box, you get a PERFECT tone – hours of daily practice are a thing of the past. This is the rig used by many musicians in professional settings. Do you know jazz musicians Jeff Kashiwa or the Rippingtons? Same rig.

I used to play with a recorder quartet for the renaissance festival. I have played for a Baroque group, but it disbanded.

I also play in a handbell choir at my church and in a community group, although I have taken the last three years off since my 92-year-old mother came to live with me. I still get last minute calls to be a sub, though. I directed the handbell choir for a while, but I prefer to play. I also directed the children’s Chime Choir. I have been a member of my church choir, too, but this new director is not my favorite person. :noidea: Someday, I’ll come back to singing.
 

badger

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I was a singer for half my life. Born to do it and found choral music to be what I loved best. Especially Baroque. When I was married, my husband wanted to start a Christian band. Kind of new territory for me vocally as well as mentally! We then got into recording and have 3 albums, created our own studio (he still has a recording studio). I used to do a fair amount of commercial jingle work too. But my heart and soul truly find their peace singing early period music. I also play guitar, violin, and cello a little. Although music is not part of my life anymore, if I could, I would love to be an oboist in an orchestra or chamber group. ( I do not play woodwinds, but love them.)
 

snow

Certified Ski Diva
Wow!!! Okay, I'm a violinist, and I play in a community orchestra, we have 3 performances per year. I developed lots of friendship plaing with this group!

So, actually piano was my first instrument, but I really suck at it. Watched a japanese drama about orchestra (Nodame Cantabile), and said to myself, I would like to play in an ochestra. Bought a violin from craigslist and quickly figured out that it's not something you can just learn on your own, so i got myself a teacher. I've been playing with this orchestra for 3 years now, and now finally playing first violin :smile:
 

Jenny

Angel Diva
I used to play violin and piano, but haven't for years. I keep meaning to take piano lessons again, but somehow never get around to it.

I'm not a "natural" though - I'll never be the person that can just sit down and start playing, and can play anything, anywhere, anytime. I don't like people to hear me. When I did play, it was just for me.

Bach suits me real well - especially the Inventions.
 

altagirl

Moderator
Staff member
Every once in a while I pull out an instrument. I took organ lessons as a kid (ugh - what I would have done for a piano instead...) and then played saxophone, flute, clarinet, oboe and a bit of violin. Still have a couple flutes, a piccolo and a clarinet at home. I actually just claimed the clarinet from my parent's house last time I was there.

It is a tempting idea to find a community orchestra... Heh, like I need another thing to do!
 

ski.junkie

Certified Ski Diva
Not me, but my husband is a professional musician. He is a sub for our local symphony and has been conductor of a community band for over twenty years. He is also a music professor. So, while I don't play (or haven't in many, many years), I listen to lots and lots and LOTS of live music.
 

B.E.G.

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Only casually now. I took piano for years and I was involved in choir in middle and high school (also took private voice lessons). Now I've let it all lapse :(
 

Skylark84

Diva in Training
I played French horn in high school and college. Every now and then I'll play with a community band or orchestra, but haven't been playing much in the last year. Hmmm ... this post is making me think a revival may be in order.
 

litterbug

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I also play in a handbell choir at my church and in a community group, although I have taken the last three years off since my 92-year-old mother came to live with me.

I read this as "handball choir" which really got my attention (:laugh:)

My mom just mailed me a photo of myself playing flute in high school when I played old Yiddish folk songs with a pianist (some kid I don't really remember) for a high school play. So young, so long ago!
 

beckylh84

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I was a music education major my first two years in college. My primary was clarinet and I played alto sax in marching band for a few years when they were short on sax players. I continued to march even after changing my major to geography because I really enjoyed marching. I go back for alumni band at Homecoming when I get a chance. I'm hoping this spring that I will be able to audition for the Washington Redskins Marching Band! I think they're just 1 of 2 NFL teams to have a marching band!
 

gardenmary

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Not me, but my husband is a professional musician. He is a sub for our local symphony and has been conductor of a community band for over twenty years. He is also a music professor. So, while I don't play (or haven't in many, many years), I listen to lots and lots and LOTS of live music.

Where does he teach?

I was a drama/music double major in college. Found out I could sing at age 15, in church, which is when I also picked up the guitar. I sat for HOURS with a chord chart, placing my left-hand fingers on the fretboard with my right hand.

But I started music in grade school - one year of cello, which my mom made me change because she got sick of chaffeuring it around. I switched to violin and played through sr year of high school - I was ok, but that arm position doesn't work for me. I put it down after my last concert and that was the end of that (probably mercifully for anyone within earshot).

Once I got into college, I broadened my instruments - now I play guitar (MUCH better than I did 35 yrs ago!), congas, djembe, pretty much all hand percussion/world percussion, some keyed percussion (glockenspiel, etc.) and can do chord improvisations on keyboard. My primary instrument is still my voice.

I am now a cantor/liturgist at my ELCA Lutheran parish. We do a WIDE variety of music, including traditional hymnody, high-church classical, folk, world, and a lot of other stuff. For my regional church events, we have a small group that gets together that includes keyboard, percussion, guitar, bass, mandolin, harmonica, flute, and vocals. Just 4 of us, but a good vibe and great sound (we switch around instruments/vocals depending on the song). The mandolin is my favorite.

I also have an ukulele I got in Hawai'i - I'm getting the bridge re-glued so I can learn to play it. The sound is so popular now it wouldn't draw so much attention to itself (a big no-no in worship) but it would be a nice rounding-out effect. I am fortunate to work with musicians in the islands who also play in parishes so I've seen how it can work.

I'm at the point of having to exert considerable self-control in music stores...little world percussion toys are my weakness!
 

missyd

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I played violin 'til I was teenager (had weekly lessons). Then I decided that playing guitar would be much "cooler". Took some classical guitar lessons and swapped to an electric guitar ... never got far playing guitar. No lessons and I lost the ability to read sheet music .... I wish I had stuck with the violin ...
 

Kiragirl

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I was a music education major in college. Taught one year filling in for a maternity leave then could not get another teaching job...switched gears and used my education experience in computer training. Of course I don't do either anymore, but really liked it and could do training again if it comes up.

My experience would also be useful in ski instruction! One of these days!

I played piano quite well through college, then did a lot of accompanying, and keep up in choirs most years. I can sing Tenor now (as well as Alto and sometimes S2) so any choir would welcome me!
 

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