This is the first of the new “Meet the Flagstaff Symphony” series, introducing members of the orchestra, administrative staff, and board!
Allison joined the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra in 2018 after moving from Florida to Phoenix to complete a master’s degree in violin performance at Arizona State University. She began her orchestra auditioning process with the goal to immerse herself in the Arizona music community and to begin her professional career. Between the handful of regional orchestras she performs with and her full-time job as an orchestra teacher, she has certainly done just that! Get to know Allison in the interview below:
Q: What has your experience been like with the FSO?
A: I love the FSO for its welcoming and friendly atmosphere. You don’t see that in every orchestra and it’s refreshing to be surrounded by such positivity! My experiences in FSO have helped confirm my love for my instrument and playing in orchestra, especially after the stress of graduate school.
Q: Coming from the East Coast, how do you like living in the Southwest?
A: I absolutely love the more laid back feel of the West and the friendliness of the people here. I am very content in this part of the country–I may never leave!
Q: What does being a music educator mean to you?
A: My students are a huge part of my life; I invest everything I can in them and receive so much joy and fulfillment in return! Students really need a place to get away from all the stresses in their lives, and as a music educator, I have the opportunity to provide that–a place where all students are welcome, are loved, and can be comfortable with who they are. It is my hope that
the students who come into my class leave it not only as better musicians, but with the tools necessary to help them manage the challenges that come with everyday life.
Q: The life of a musician is busy! How do you wind down?
A: I live right by South Mountain, so in the fall and winter I’ll go on hikes as a perfect way to get outside, move, and reconnect with myself. However, in my opinion, the Phoenix summers are way too hot for hiking! While on summer break, I enjoy my free time by reading, swimming in the pool, playing video games, and best of all, hanging out with my fur-babies, Tom and Luna.
Q: What is an aspect of performing in a symphony that might not be obvious to an audience member?
A: It can be easy to underestimate how tricky it is to coordinate a LOT of people playing intertwining parts all at the same time. It’s even quite a challenge getting one section of instruments to play exactly in sync! It requires a tight-knit group mentality paired with a lot of individual accountability.
Q: What are you looking forward to about Season 73?
A: This season is going to be an excellent balance of newer works and timeless classics. I’m really looking forward to playing Brahms’s 4th symphony in September, as well as a variety of pops and culturally diverse music coming up later in the season. FSO is really good about mixing things up and staying relevant!